Protest against the Abuse of Children: (Little Black Boy (Fact that…
Protest against the Abuse of Children:
Narrative which is a dream, a image of the boys who work as chimney sweepers being released from their misery and work and find a heavenly and clean place. Tom Darce wakes up to find this a dream but clings on to it anyway.
Blake suggests religion is abusive and manipulative towards children, the 'angel' could be seen as an abusive figure, empty promise of joy. Making the boy conform, if he does nothing in protest to his suffering he will go to heaven
Experience contrasts innocence. Blake shows that children are originally good and the closest to God but then are ruined by the leaders of society. The child figure is idealised.
In 'Innocence' the young sweeper has been socialised into thinking suffering and pain is part of everyday life and that he is not being abused. In 'Experience' we see the sweeper blame society for his 'misery'. He knows he is the victim of others control and the church profits from misery.
The parents in the poem don't realise the suffering so feel inclined to go to church so they feel like good people. Hypocritical
The child being labelled as a 'thing' shows the industrial revolution dehumanises children and makes child abuse unquestionable
Chimney sweeps were apprenticed at the age of 7, Tom Darce was sold when he could 'scarcely weep weep weep'. Treatment from their male employers was terrible, there was no protest towards child chimney sweepers, it was a social norm and no one rebelled against the system
Nurses Song (e)
Has the same start as Innocence yet the mood quickly turns dark as the 'whisperings' suggest repression, suspicion and fear.
The narrator of the poem appears to be a guardian of the children, she reflects on her own childhood when her 'face turns green and pale' GREEN associated with jealousy, the narrator hasnt got over her childhood so is affecting their childhood. Pale is associated with death, links to KEATS.
The children grow up to not knowing who they are as they are in 'disguise'. Blake contrasts (e) with (i) as the 'little ones leaped and laughed', like little lambs and in touch with nature.
Once the sun has gone down, the children have to go inside. The light has gone, nature isn't being appreciated at all. 'Days are wasted in play' contrasts with the happy tone of Innocence, the children are being stripped of their childhood to go to work. Children reading the poems may feel sad.
Warning to overprotective parents who dont let their children go out and enjoy life. Children become scared of what is out their, dependent and easily manipulated. ABUSERS ABUSE.
Emotive language 'weep weep weep' cry for help, the church drowns out the 'chimney sweepers cry' and cover it up (London)
Chimney Sweep (i) and (e)
Little Black Boy
Although the main protest is against imperialism and the growing industrialisation of the world, we see children innocently pick up on segregation and racial issues
Fact that children become racist due to socialisation. No one is born racist. Child's innocence is shown when he says the purpose of life is to let God love us and let us love.
Someway abuse as children should not be concerned with the colour of their peers skin. They should be innocent enough to think nothing of it yet Blake protests that in our world, white people will always have a problem,
The little black boy picks up on stereotypical notions like black being associated with dirt and white with purity. Yet the black boy is closer to God as he is closer to the sun. He thinks he is not equal until the white boy can feel God. They have to be the same in order to be loved.