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July 17, 2013

Literature Research Paper on William Blake, Acebe, Hughes

Literature Research Paper
All these three writers William Blake, Chinua Achebe and Lagston Hughes explore the themes of social inequalities, injustice, culture, and gender relations in their works. In The Chimney Sweeper, William Black is highly critical of church and social authorities as they fail to supply the innocent boy with enough resources to eke out a decent living. The child is utterly exploited and there is nobody who can assuage his helplessness and haplessness.
 The poem paints the quandary of the young chimney sweepers and their gloomy, hard lives described by the perspective of a young naive boy. The pre-dominant ambiance of the poem is very bleak and pessimistic. However grim the reality is, the young boy falls into oblivion escaping from the hardships of life though only temporarily. 
Strong and significant wordplay such as ‘weep, instead of sweep, the use of the color black, and coffins, all give an stern appearance to the first couple of stanzas of the poem. The young boy in the beginning of the poem does not seem to understand the severity of his condition and does not even lament the death of his mother.
William Blake poem The Chimney Sweeper’ divulges the distressing fate of a poor chimney sweeper whose mother had passed away when he was very young. As a result, the father sold out the boy either due to the fact that he could not take care of him or for greed. The imaginative ingenuity of a poet makes the poem a perfect blend and association between fantasies and grim social realities.
In addition to this picture-perfect illustration, the poem also narrates quite dexterity, the joy and the joy and pain, laughter and tears that one encounters. The poem evinces that the children never lose sight of optimism and have a positive outlook towards life.  They seek to enjoy life as it comes and are not afraid on anything immortal such as death.
The chimney sweeper does not seem to realize the severity of his abject living conditions.  Not only this, he also shares the predicament of his friend who is worried after having his hair shaved due to his job. This forcible act saddens because he likens it to humiliation that this boy had to undergo.

By comparing Tom’s head to a “lamb’s back” the young boy evokes the image of childish, healthy locks being brought to the floor and exposing a cold bare head.
The somber tone is changed by the unanticipated contrast of lighthearted images such as an “Angel with a bright key” (13) and “down a green plain leaping laughing they run” (15) present in the third and fourth stanzas correspondent to Tom’s dream.
In his dream, Tom first pictured his friends and he locked inside black coffins, which symbolize the dark narrow passages of the chimneys. The boys were all released from the coffins by an Angel and afterwards washed themselves up and played and no longer had to
carry their sweeping bags.
This dream is symbolic of the lost and tarnished childhood.  These young boys receive no reprieve from the Church or other social institutions as they remain dirty and dingy most of the times. They are maltreated, humiliated and exploited at the hands of capitalistic lot.  Consequently, they are exposed to getting burned and killed inside the chimneys—the black coffins.
This contrast of the colorful, warm, and happy dream only deepens the cold, dark ambiance of the boys’ reality. Even though unreal, the dream achieves a magnitude big enough to soothe the boy on its way to work on the next day. Amid the child’s helplessness and naivety all the reader can do is to feel sorry and sympathize with these kids’ eminent, dark fates.
"A Dead Man's Path" is a short story about a brilliant and striving headmaster named Obi who soon finds that his ignorance over the ancestry of his people can lead him to the worst of fates. Tradition is the main theme of the story. The purpose of ancient path is discovered and relations from Obi and villagers highlight significance of tradition. With the advancement of the story, Obi rejects the culture that his ancestors used to follow after finding that the passion a person and his adherence to beliefs can overcome the obstacles whether the headmaster wants that or not. The novel foregrounds the importance of respecting and commemorating traditions no matter how old-fashioned or narrow-minded they may see because the live in the hearts of people who follow them.
The story is in Africa, and Obi, the main character, had just received news that he would be running a school that had been in dire need of help within the region. Obi is a bright young individual, and both he and his wife act as representatives to a more modern way of viewing the world. Chinua Achebe further shows this fact very early in the story, on the third paragraph: "'We shall do our best,' she (Obi's wife) replied. 'We shall have such beautiful gardens and everything will be just modern and delightful.'" (Achebe 476). They are energetic and spirited, especially Obi, who is ambitious enough to want to see that his new school will be the best that he can make it.
In Theme for English B, the speaker’s English teacher challenges him to write the truth about himself.  Having completed this assignment, the narrator comes to terms with the fact that truth is too wide and complex a subject to be narrated on a paper. This exercise compels him to dig his own identity as well as that of the instructor. The poem is redolent of the deceptive nature of society in which truth becomes an anomaly. All in all, these writers set out to explore the themes of social inequalities, tradition, and culture. The theme of poverty echoes throughout these novels.
Roberts, Edgar, (1988) “Writing themes about literature” Prentice-Hall


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