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However, Blake believed that it was mistaken to look for ‘release' in the future.
[child] - Underlying the poem, though the term is not used, is the fact that the speaker is a child.
All Blake's associations with the image of the child are therefore in the background of the poem and affect our understanding of it.
white hair – White is the colour associated with innocence and purity, which increases sympathy for a young life being defiled by its squalid conditions.
Blake's readers would also recognise it as an allusion to the vision of the ‘Son of Man' Daniel 7:9 which was associated with Jesus.
The fact that the word is not used means we have to remind ourselves that it is a child speaking, even though society has forgotten this.
To their society, and to themselves, they are sweepers, not children; this is the core of their plight.He also refers to a Platonic belief that had become common among some Christians.Lamb – A lamb is often associated with innocence and playfulness, whilst a child sweep has been exposed to cruel treatment.It also echoes the vision of Jesus in heaven who holds the keys of life / death in Revelation wash in a river – With poor sanitation and no running water, washing in a river represented a thorough clean, as well as evoking a pastoral idyll.It would also remind Blake's readers of the many biblical images of healing and of new life that are associated with rivers, for example: Blake may be using the associations negatively, showing how the feeding of such imagery to the child has encouraged his escapist dream., Blake uses several images and refers to related biblical ideas with which his contemporaries would be familiar with.Blake develops his own symbols in these poems as well as using established ones.A green plain – Blake often refers to a green, usually the village green, or the use of the adjective, green, in a way intended to evoke the same associations: Blake attacks the pious hope of future solace in heaven, advocated by some Christians as a way of avoiding the uncomfortable reality of injustice and exploitation.This taught people to accept present suffering and injustice because of the promise of bliss and the absence of all suffering in the next world.However, lambs are also associated with vulnerable sacrifices for human evil.See Big ideas from the Bible Sheep, shepherd, lambs.