The Chimney Sweeper By: Kayla Adair, Jonathan Chiu, Jeremy Riforgate, and Dominick Groves
William Blake • Born 1757 • Poet, Painter, Printmaker • Obscure and unrecognized in age of his writing • Blake had his own unique spirituality, which he wrote many ‘prophetic’ books about
While his picture and literary legacy present him like this…..
Illuminated Printing “Relief Etching” • In 1788, at the age of 31, Blake began to experiment with relief etching, a method he would use to produce most of his books, paintings, pamphlets and poems. The process is also referred to as illuminated printing, and final products as illuminated books or prints. Illuminated printing involved writing the text of the poems on copper plates with pens and brushes, using an acid-resistant medium. Illustrations could appear alongside words in the manner of earlier illuminated manuscripts. He then etched the plates in acid to dissolve the untreated copper and leave the design standing in relief (hence the name).
Chimney Sweeper • Told from the point of view of a child • Tom Dacre is a child chimney sweeper who represents all neglected children in poverty • His innocence allows him to be naïve about his situation • His imagination takes him on a journey where an Angel sets him free from his grave circumstances • Tom is told to stay a good boy and only then will he be able to be nurtured and cared for by his “father” or God Song of Innocence
Chimney Sweeper • Tells the story of a child who is no longer innocent, but now is able to understand and cope with his situation • Describes a child who no longer believes the promise described in Songs of Innocence • He now believes that his parents have perversely put him into this business to take away his happiness • Heaven was built on the misery of poor children like himself Song of Experience
Marry Poppins • Walt Disney movie set in the 1960s • Clip shows the chimney sweepers dancing around and singing happy songs • Illusion that chimney sweeping was a fun job
Chimney sweeping hazards • Very dangerous and life-threatening • Chimney sweeps face medical dangers like cancer • Possibility of broken or malformed limbs • Squeezed into tiny spaces day after day • Severe breathing problems from inhaling soot • Employer would light fire under them to get them to move faster
Chimney Sweeps in 1700s • Child labor was very prevalent in England • Boys sold at ages 4 and 5 due to their small size • Value depended on size • Usually young and poorly fed • Risked getting stuck in chimney, choked, or even falling to their • death
My mother died when I was very young,and my dad sold me so he wouldn’t be hung
So scared do I cry and weep, weep, weep, weep,For I am a slave while the whole world sleeps
There is my brother who carries large bricksWorks twelve hour days, and he’s only 6.
Hush brother don’t cry for master will hear,Cuz the world does not care when a slave disappears
So quietly we work by day and night,And the world would be sick if they felt my fright.
400 thou are trafficked each yearSleep in a prison of sex, rape , and fear.
But someone will come and take us away,To a happier place were we can play.Angels will sing, and the sun will shine bright,And all will be well , as we shine in the light.