William Blake Research Essay

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The Chimney Sweeper

11 December 2012

English 314.B.

Professor Chapin

“Blake’s prodigious genius is evident in the daring with which he attacks the most fundamental problems, and we read him only half-heartedly if we do not respond as human beings to his prophetic demands” (Critical Paths 245). In Blake’s writing, our development as humans depends on our interactions with others in society. In Blake’s poetry, “human interaction with other individuals in society create the mutual trust and security” where happiness is achieved in a world of innocence. The humanistic world of experience emphasizes the fundamental social inequalities which are the result of the cruel society we grow up in. Consequently, Blake’s writing indicate we then deviate ourselves from the “hegemonic” control of society imposed by government. Innocence offers the positive image of youth and our positive outlook toward the world. Experience represents the limations and hardships that come with every day society. Human condition and emotion are two thematic fundamental problems that Blake expresses frequently through imagery in the “Chimney Sweeper” and throughout the Songs of Innocence and Experience

Blake’s use of imagery in “Innocence” offers a positive existence within society from the child-like perspective. The contrary state’s of innocence and experience propose the same issues but from entirely difference perspective in repescts to the tranisition of one human state to the other.

“So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep”

emphasizes the terrible living conditions subjected to children. The black coffin is also apparent and has siginificant meaning. It refers to the “miseries of a childers sweepers existence, to the chimney in which he works, and more importantly the abbreviation of his life span”(Contrary States 41). Blake offers a symbol of hope to offer...