The Chimney Sweeper and The Tyger by William Blake are fascinating poems, which represent the themes of life and death through the creation of children as chimney sweepers and the tyger. In The Chimney Sweeper, the author portrays the lives of poor children who need to work like slaves while dealing with the soot day and night. In regard to The Tyger, the plot shows the power of an animal, which refers to one of Gods creations. In this case, the poems illustrate the significance of God as the only Creator who unites the world of humankind and nature. Thus, children and the tyger symbolize innocence and a natural power presented through symbolism and imagery.

 

Childhood is full of sadness and desperation due to the absence of love. In the poem The Chimney Sweeper, Blake portrays the destiny of homeless children left by their parents. The author shows that the main character is forced to experience different problems and life seems to be a burden. The poem refers to The Songs of Innocence, and the entire plot is devoted to the theme of innocence and injustice. The lines When my mother died I was very young,/ And my father sold me while yet my tongue illustrate how poor and miserable a child is due to the lack of the parental love (The Chimney Sweeper 1-2). Being unable to speak, the narrator had no choice. It is evident that the speaker is a child who is betrayed by its own parent. It sounds horrible as the father sold the most innocent creature on the Earth even not taking into account that it is the worst sin. In this case, the reader understands that the narrator becomes homeless and has nothing to do but working. The lines Could scarcely cry weep! weep! weep! weep!/ So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep have a metaphorical meaning as the child is covered with mud (The Chimney Sweeper 3-4). Thus, living and sleeping in soot, his life is closely connected with chimneys.

Black and white colors reflect two sides of life as black usually symbolizes darkness, and white is a precise symbol of innocence and integrity. The words There's little Tom Dacre, who cried when his head/ That curled like a lamb's back, was shaved represent youth and purity (The Chimney Sweeper 5-6). In addition, these contain a simile as the narrator uses like to compare a human with a lamb whose nature is innocent and pure. It is possible to assume that the speaker tries to explain the reader that Tom has no hair, and therefore, it will never be dirty. The soot from chimneys will never cover it. Along with that, the narrator mentions black coffins that symbolize the death of children, and, therefore, they may be dead. It is rather strange, but children live and work in darkness that is related to a metaphor, which contributes to the miserable lives of the protagonists. In this case, the tone of the plot is sad, and even such rhymes as young-tongue, weep-sleep, bare-hare, night-sight reinforce the primary theme of the hidden implication. There are six stanzas, and each line contains rhymes, which help the reader understand the inner sufferings of the main characters. In addition, the narrator mentions several names of the chimney sweepers to reveal that there is a large number of children around the world who also work like slaves.

Being the creatures of God, children need ones protection, and namely, angels have the ability to save them. The speaker says, And by came an Angel who had a bright key,/ And he opened the coffins & set them all free;/ Then down a green plain, leaping, laughing they run,/ And wash in a river and shine in the Sun (The Tyger 13-16). These words demonstrate the revelation of childrens hope for a better future. They merely dream of freedom and, of course, love. Additionally, the angel is a symbol of their salvation. It also symbolizes innocence and integrity as children who deserve to live instead of a miserable existence. On the other hand, the image of the coffins shows that God contributed to the creation of angels who need to look after children. This image has a metaphorical meaning as they illustrate the chimney sweepers regular deeds and affairs. It is obvious that the author uses imagery to emphasize the sense of death. Nevertheless, such a positive image as the sun is associated with Gods kindness referred to the portrayal of angels. The most unbelievable lines And the angel told Tom, if hed be a good boy,/ Hed have God for his father, and never want joy demonstrate the conversation between the angel and one of the children (The Tyger 19-20). Thus, God exists to instill hope in children that their dreams may come true one day and all of them will have fathers.

In contrast to children who are nothing more than poor chimney sweepers without any rights and liberties, the tyger is associated with freedom based on unlimited power. In the poem The Tyger, Blake demonstrates reality while illustrating a physical strength related to the tyger. It belongs to the poetry Songs of Experience, and, thus, it does not have lyrics. The most essential elements are connected with mystery through evil. There is no place for innocence as the tyger always reaches its victims and kills them. In addition, both titles have one similar feature which is the lack of mercy indeed. However, the speaker of The Tyger claims that the tyger is superior to people, and it is definitely superior to children from The Chimney Sweeper. The animal reigns over the humankind as his power is unlimited. It has neither limitations nor boundaries because nature is its eternal home. At the same time, the tyger knows for sure that nobody and nothing can rule it. In contrast to the previous speaker, this narrator resembles an adult who pays too much to reality and its cruelty. The reader notices that there are no particular characteristics indicating that the speaker may be a child. He questions about the truth of the tygers creation and his primary goal on the Earth. Thus, the reader attempts to learn about the existence of the tyger and its single function.

Observing the life of the tyger, the narrator focuses on each detail and feature, which may explain the animals nature. The words What immortal hand or eye,/ Could frame thy fearful symmetry? emphasize that it is about immortality (The Tyger 3-4). One may also concentrate on a visionary eye to define whom it belongs to. In this case, it makes the reader understand what accurate purposes the tyger longs for while constantly killing its victims. It is understandable that the tone of the poem is also different due to its mystery and power. It encourages the reader to explore the creation of the tyger. On the other hand, it is quite obvious that The Chimney Sweeper and The Tyger reflect Gods double will as these poems demonstrate the world of innocence and the world of relentlessness connected with cruelty. The lines In what distant deeps or skies./ Burnt the fire of thine eyes? show that the fire is an integral part of the tygers life (The Tiger 5-6). It assists the animal to survive among the rest. Additionally, this image reinforces the tygers power as it has enough strength to travel all over the world; fire becomes a symbol of the tygers nature and the fears it causes.

The tiger symbolizes life and death based on its irresistible desire to rule the world of fauna while killing. In this case, the speaker compels the reader to wonder about a natural creation of this cruel animal. He indicates, On what wings dare he aspire?/ What the hand, dare seize the fire? (Blake 7-8). These lines emphasize a dark imagery that builds the tone of fear and sadness at the same time. In addition, the existing fear has similar characteristics with the world of reality. In regard to the structure of The Tyger, it also has six stanzas as Chimney Sweeper. The main determined feature is that the author uses rhymed couplets, which illustrate the sense of urgency. The primary difference of the rhymes is the demonstration of the animals power to master the world of animals and at times, the world of humans as well. As a result, the tygers aggressiveness has turned the tiger into the king of animals, which lives on the edge.

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In conclusion, The Chimney Sweeper and The Tyger by William Blake are literary masterpieces, which relate to The Songs of Innocence and Experience. The author portrays two various narrators, which inform the reader about the theme of innocence and power through the illustration of poor children and a strong tyger. The poems represent the world of people the world of small children who suffer from the lack of protection, and the world of nature, which belongs to the tyger. They symbolize life and death as the revelation of God and His creatures. Undoubtedly, both poems have particular differences and similarities as purity and darkness make them similar and different at once.

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