Use Of Children In William Blake Poems English Literature Essay

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Blakes poems reflect images of children, religion, and society. The use of children is a prominent theme in a few of William Blake's poems. It is apparent in readings such as The Lamb and The Chimney Sweeper. In both of these poems he shows the turning in upon self and a heightened examination of human personality. In "The Chimney Sweeper" he demonstrates how the innocence of a child can be drained dry when raised and forced through the experience that demoralizing and ignorant society provides. In "The Lamb" he shows how a higher power has created something so beautiful and as innocent too.

These poems show the idea that a person in a state of innocence might see certain things quite differently than would a person who has reached maturity. Blake understands that the words "innocence" and "experience" seem to be completely opposite of each other. However, in the poems he reveals that both are equally important. The lamb in the poem can symbolize several different things; innocence, serenity, a child, or Jesus. It is common in Blake's poems to use a lamb as a symbol for innocence, mostly because it is a religious symbol (Jesus is referred to as "The Lamb of God" in the New Testament). In "The Chimney Sweeper", Blake also shows the faith and hope the children have in God. The angels tell Tom that if he does his duty he will have God as his father, someone he didn't have when he was growing up. "He'd have God for his father and never want joy", this provides more than enough reason for Tom to continue with his dreadful duties in order to one day finally be happy with his creator.

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In "The Chimney Sweeper" I feel like it shows more of one who has turned upon self and exceeded into one who has heightened examination of human personality. He is one who has grown from the early experiences that he had lived through and describes it very well. The Chimney Sweeper emulates the life of a deprived child, whose only voice is the uttered cry, "weep, weep". Blake doesn't tell you the cause of the mother's death; only that she perished when I was very young. This shows that what the child endures is heightened when the emotionally-depleted father "sold me while yet my tongue could scarcely cry". Because of this, it shows the child was sold as a baby. Blake shows that of innocence of the children that to that of the lamb. The lamb is of Christ and because the child's hair was shaved, we witness the innocence taken away. All of these children are visited by angels bearing a bright key. These children believe that if they were to die under such torment, they should not be scared. I feel like the young boy heightens himself to bigger and better things. He looks forward to a brighter side of things. He has a mature attitude and positive thinking in an awful situation. He is one that is not scared of death. He has the outlook to make the best out of it. In the story it shows the personality of the young boy as being one that was angry. In the first sentence "when my mother died" and also when he states "my father sold me". It shows that the children were young and miserable "And my father sold me while yet my tongue could scarcely cry" "weep! weep! weep!" These lines are showing how young they are. The normal cry of a chimney sweeper would say sweep, and a younger one could only say weep. This shows that the children were in great misery while doing this. Blake tells in the stories how the chimneys were coffins in their dreams. These were young children that couldn't deal with the emotions of this hard labor. The angel's words to Tom are ones that show the maturity in him. Tom has no choice but to rely on faith to justify what is happening. The lines "There's Little Tom bacre, who cried when his head, that curled like a lamb's back, was shaved", shows what children were put through in order to go out and make money. Blake also makes it evident that little Tom did not understand why he was getting his head shaved, even though it was explained to him by the words "Hush, Tom! Never mind it, for when your head is bare you know the soot cannot spoil your white hair!" Those words show that he was trying to quiet a crying child. This shaving is showing how these children have lost their innocence.

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As well as "The Chimney Sweeper", "The Lamb" shows the form of Christianity in the poem. In "The Lamb" it shows the lamb as possibly being several different things. It shows the connection of all things, it connects it all with the creator, the lamb, and Jesus. He tells him how Jesus was just like a lamb, comparing Jesus to a child. Jesus Christ is compared to a lamb because he goes meekly to be sacrificed on behalf of all humanity. The lamb is described of as having clothing "softest clothing wooly bright". The lamb is also a speaker for the child, who belong to Christ's "flock" in Christianity, Jesus is compared both to a lamb going to the sacrifice and to a shepherd who protects his flock of lambs and sheep. Blake reminds us that Jesus became the Lamb of God; Jesus was crucified during the Feast of the Passover (Celebrating the Jew's escape from Egypt) when lambs were slaughtered in the temple at Jerusalem. This was believed to take away the sins of the people who took part in the feast. So when Jesus was killed for the sins of all people, according to the Christian faith, he became the Lamb of God. Jesus appears as a Lamb with divide powers, who defeats the Anti-Christ and saves mankind. This poem to me seems to be mainly about God's love shown in his care for Lamb and the child.

In conclusion, Blake's works show how there is a light at the end of a tunnel. When a child has to endure terrible hardships, hope must till persist. For a young child to go through things they have to raise upon their self and grow to make the best out of something. Both "The Chimney Sweeper" and "The Lamb" show a great deal of turning in upon self and great personality. I feel like both characters in these poems showed that. Tom grew to accept better things for what he had to go through and Lamb did as well. I feel like Blake gives a message that "God is always watching you".