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Tone in The Chimney Sweeper

Tone Examples in The Chimney Sweeper:

The Chimney Sweeper


"Could scarcely cry “'weep! 'weep! 'weep! 'weep!' So your chimneys I sweep, and in soot I sleep...."   (The Chimney Sweeper)

Blake chooses a 2nd-person addressee that stands in for English society: in other words, those whose chimneys are swept. This choice gives the poem an accusatory tone. Indeed, Blake’s contemporary readership would have been attuned to worker’s rights issues and may well have possessed first-hand experiences with such child laborers. The dense internal “-eep” rhymes in this couplet give the lines an exceptional force.

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