Compose a 1000 words essay on The Chimney Sweeper by William Blake. Needs to be plagiarism free!
In ‘Songs of Innocence’, the little chimney sweeper, through the story of his life, delivers the simple and well-known message, worshiped by all religions – sacrifice and suffering leads to salvation. However, the poet seems to convey something else in between. It can be seen that after releasing the little sweepers free, the divine angel tells Tom Dacre that “… if he’d be a good boy,/ He’d have God for his father, and never want joy.” (Blake) If joy means mortal pleasure then it is evident that Tom will get his ultimate salvation under the shelter of God in his afterlife. So there is no relief from the engulfing darkness of the chimney for Tom unless he is dead. The poet has portrayed the conditions prevailing in society during that time. Child laborers were made to work and earn their living amidst deplorable conditions. There was no respite for them, as they toiled hard day and night to clean other people’s households. Their parents severed all their ties with them and their employers had the least sympathy for these children. Readers are given an idea about the miserable social condition when the young chimney sweeper, assures Tom that he would surely get a relief from this situation once his life in this world comes to an end. The major portion of the poem tells about a dream that Tom has of the other chimney sweepers who are locked in a black coffin. It symbolizes the circumstances in which the sweepers live. They remain neglected by the society and have soot covered skin. The dream tells about the woes of the sweepers and how an angel opens the coffins to free the sweepers from their suffocating lifestyle. In the dream, the sweepers wash themselves in a river to emerge in white skins and leave behind their bags to escape in the clouds. This represents a complete freedom from the oppressive life of soot black skin and the bags of tools on which they used to sleep at night. The coffins can also be interpreted as death in literal form which means the sweepers can never get relief from the oppression until after death. It would be interesting to note that Tom Dacre is the only boy mentioned in the poem who protests against his miseries. Being a “good boy” can thus mean remaining silent and lenient like the rest of the boys. Thus, the poet through the words of the young boy delivers the central message of the poem. The chimney sweeper advises his friend Tom Dacre to be faithful to his task no matter how depressing it may appear to be. At the end of his life, he is sure to be rewarded by the “Divine Angel” who will surely lead him to God. Actually, through the words of his protagonist, Blake advises his readers to be diligent in fulfilling their responsibilities in life. This would surely lead them to the path of enlightenment and help them to realize the Supreme Creator. The chimney sweeper acknowledges the fact that he has to live in isolation from the society in hazardous conditions which can even lead to his early death. He mentions his so called pious parents who think that they have done him no harm and go to the church regularly to pray. The innocence of Tom can be seen as he believes that everything will be fine as long as he is obedient even if it causes danger to his life. His naivety makes him accept his circumstances and he blames nobody.