"The Chimney Sweeper" and "Hard Work" Book Review by Writing Specialists

"The Chimney Sweeper" and "Hard Work"
This paper compares and contrasts the poems "The Chimney Sweeper" by Robert Blake and "Hard Work" by Stephen Dunn.
# 91546 | 1,240 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2007 | US
Published on Jan 30, 2007 in Literature (English) , Literature (Poetry) , Sociology (Theory) , English (Analysis) , English (Comparison)

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In this article, the writer studies the poems "The Chimney Sweeper" by Robert Blake and "Hard Work" by Stephen Dunn and looks at their similarities and differences. The writer discusses the differing social themes portrayed in the two poems. Further, the writer examines the aspect of class consciousness as it is demonstrated in both works. The writer notes that the narrators in both poems come to the conclusion that resistance is all but futile; that the system is so firmly entrenched in society that for one person to break free seems impossible.The writer concludes that although written from two entirely different perspectives, the two poems show how the working classes are subjugated by the wealthy, and that the ones who own the means of production are also the ones who can control social norms.

From the Paper:

"Stephen Dunn's poem "Hard Work," on the other hand, is more about resistance. The narrator of "Hard Work" is also a young boy, but unlike the chimney sweeper he quits his job and "exercised the prerogatives of my class". Both narrators are conscious of their proletariat position in society and in the end, both feel powerless to change. However, the chimney sweeper's positive attitude suggests that he is willing to conform to the status quo, whereas the boy in "Hard Work" is less willing to do so. Both Blake's "Chimney Sweeper" and Dunn's "Hard Work" deal with Marxist themes such as class stratification and the use of labor to control the masses, but Dunn's challenges the means of social control whereas Blake's discusses the virtues of acceptance and conformity."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Blake, Robert. "The Chimney Sweeper." Songs of Innocence. Retrieved Feb 5, 2006 from
  • Dunn, Stephen. "Hard Work." (1956). Retrieved Feb 5, 2006 from http://ophelia.netherweb.com/poems/dunn1.html

Cite this Book Review:

APA Format

"The Chimney Sweeper" and "Hard Work" (2007, January 30) Retrieved February 23, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/the-chimney-sweeper-and-hard-work-91546/

MLA Format

""The Chimney Sweeper" and "Hard Work"" 30 January 2007. Web. 23 February. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/the-chimney-sweeper-and-hard-work-91546/>