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A Marxist Criticism of “The Chimney Sweeper”

03/10/2022 Edebiyat

To analyse the poem, this paragraph will use the Marxist Criticism which concerns the analysis with class, and economic differences, also implications and complications about the capitalism. To give information about the poem, it probably was written around 18th and 19th period and between these times children was forced to work within factories. It is clear from the first stanza, second stanza and from these two lines; “And my father sold me while yet my tongue” and “So your chimneys I sweep & in soot I sleep.” that children was forced to work in difficult situations too. This situation shows that lower classes were so poor that they had to sell their children for small or no amount of money. It can also be seen that society was divided into two sections; one is lower classes that work, the other is richer, in other words, capitalists who buy these children for work. They are buying children as their pay is not too much and they profit from it. From the poem it is also clear that while children from lower class families doing labour work, upper class children are gaining money and being rich without doing any hard work. Moreover, from 5th stanza one can infer that ideologies was forced on lower class people. In the stanza, Tom has a dream where he sees himself locked in a coffin, later an angel saves him and tells him that if he works hard enough, he will have God as his father. This shows that Angel is symbolised as upper class people who are forcing their ideas on lower class children that work for them. It can also be considered that upper class people, in other words capitalists at that time were manipulating children to work for them continuously. Furthermore, it was not only for lower class children, but also lower class people who are working for them.

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