© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Chimney Sweeper (Songs of Experience)

The Chimney Sweeper (Songs of Experience)


by William Blake

The Chimney Sweeper (Songs of Experience) Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. How is this different from its companion in Songs of Innocence? Is this poem saying anything different, or just covering the same old ground?
  2. Who does the chimney sweeper really blame for his woe? And why? Do you think he's right?
  3. Does the fact that a young child speaks most of the poem take away from its message, effect, or seriousness? Can we trust him, in other words?
  4. What's up with the speaker? Does he care at all about this poor child?
  5. Why not just narrate this poem in the voice of the chimney-sweeper? Why choose to have it be in dialogue, with another speaker who doesn't say much at all?
  6. What's the effect of the rhythms and rhymes on your understanding of the poem?

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...