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Infinite grime clings to the obscure alcoves of towering chimneys, their smoke wrestling

with the feeble breaths of cordial sunlight and infant laborers. Tears purge round, trusting faces
of excessive filth, creating rare traces of cleanliness wrought by wracking coughs or excessive
grief; the juvenile chimney sweepers are too vulnerable to differentiate. They are herded through
an indifferent city with contempt, corralled livestock acting as unwanted reminders of the
bestiality of human nature. Tom Dacre, along with Dick, Joe, Ned, and Jack, pause wearily
under the daunting shadow of the citys church. It is burdensome and heavy, and the diminished
bodies buckle under the suppressive weight. They welcome the feeling, though, tethered
somewhere between these terrestrial and ethereal worlds. Inevitably, the slaves continue
staggering towards another master, another chimney, and an inevitable reality of pain and death.
So this, they concede, is freedom; this is the blessing of life.
Blake addresses the duality of existence through adverse selves, denoting a severance
from the world and an idiosyncratic enlightenment- the poems depict an internalized dispute
regarding truth. Blakes 1789 poem from the Book of Innocence, characterized by the first
person point of view, offers a contradictory and therefore diminished argument; the naive
perspective suggests incorruption or innocence attributed to adolescence. However, the
undisputed authority of church and state has manipulated the absolutes of juvenile reality,
providing theoretical refuge from the defects of mundane institutions; Blakes commentary
asserts that political and religious authority serves to dehumanize and subsequently mechanize an
submissive society. Allusions to mortal resilience and eternal compensation arouse purpose and
hope amid suffering that disguises a meaningless society captivated by materialism. The worldhardened point of view expressed in the 1794 poem from the Book of Experience satirically
degrades a distorted past, condemns a worthless, solitary present, and finally succumbs to a
desolate conclusion. The enlightened but despondent tone more brazenly addresses former
aspirations; the final analysis of the 1794 poem starkly contrasts the virgin fragility of that from
the Book of Innocence. The narrator of the 1794 poem has accumulated truly authentic ethos in
regards to the personal I, accentuating the vulnerable genuineness of his peculiar analysis and
denoting Unitarian authority; diverging from the ethereal quality of the 1789 poem, the narrator
has become a personal deity amid a heaven of our misery.
Bodily growth inevitably stimulates intellectual evolution; as the narrator discovers the
world of man, he learns to despise their improvised institutions. This radical divergence burdens
Blakes diction, contributing malice and solemnity to a formerly resilient and pious tone. Diction
impacts the claim of each poem through connotative implications of truth and severity; as such,
the somber diction of the 1794 poem juxtaposes and subsequently weakens the untethered
argument of the 1789 poem. The childish diction and abrupt syntax of the Book of Innocence
equate religion to diversion, constant but meaningless motion captivated by momentary
pleasures. These superficial rhetorical devices are reminiscent of a nursery rhyme- a compilation
of static characters in a synthetic, undeveloped paracosm. However, spiritual connotations
exemplified by the coffin and Angel enunciate the imminence of some obscure deity throughout
the 1789 poem, but diminish the ethos of the narrator. Regardless of length, the poem lacks
depth and enunciates meaningless succession of life. Contrastingly, allusions throughout the
1794 poem reference God only as an allocation of blame. The narrator holds the church and its
symbolic Father accountable for the detrimental absence of his parents; the physical death of his
mother and loss of tender compassion is the act of a pitiless God, whereas the true father
abandons his child for marketable profit. His sorrow has evolved from a juvenile trill of mimicry,
exemplified through initial exclamations of, weep, to a thorough, primitive encumbrance of

the spirit as the narrator later cries, weep. The brazen tone is hardened by injustice and
infuriated by divine contempt, as evident in the implementation of Juvenalian satire; the narrator
aggressively discards the world that first renounced him. He is repulsed by the heaven of our
misery, or the hypocritical existence of humans- the narrator depicts the condemnation of man
wrought by man-made institutions. The 1794 poem is warring in that hardened diction conveys
the burden of a battle-scarred soldier, asserting the ethos necessary to invalidate the nave 1789
poem. The harsh truths of the Book of Experience perforate the delicate innocence of the first
poem, more adequately arguing the deception of salvation.
Biblical allusion and subsequently ethereal imagery dominate the 1789 poem to express
the pious dedication of the narrator, proffering hope but lacking in a substantial argument. God is
the desperate resort of a hollow existence, a symbol of purpose mandating perseverance.
Religion provides refuge to the white lambs of society; as children of God, a paternal deity
theoretically abolishes the absence of an earthly father but realistically acts as a Priest and
King uninterested in mundane affairs. Vivid color symbolism employed throughout the 1789
poem juxtaposes the abstract and concrete provisions of Christianity. The haunting darkness of
night arouses visions of a bright key, green plain, and shining Sun. These congenial pallets
denote truth and prosperity associated with Jesus, personified as the savior of an obscure society;
little lambs like the narrator are inevitably destined for martyrdom, their physical and spiritual
degradation resulting from inhumane labor equivalent to the sacrificial crucifixion of Christ- the
Lamb of God. The 1794 poem further emphasizes the hypocrisy of man-made institutions. The
narrator amalgamates grief and dehumanization wrought by God to the thievery and injustice of
Satan. Heaven and eternal bliss are corrupt and unattainable ambitions projected by the King, or
established government, and Priest, or church, as compensation of terrestrial suffering. The
elaborate scheme revealed in the 1794 poem, logically and emotionally supported by the
experiences and subsequent shortcomings of Blake and his siblings in Christ, denounces the
authority of religion longingly depicted in the 1789 poem.