The Chimney Sweeper Questions & Answers

Hi Everyone!! This article will share The Chimney Sweeper Questions & Answers.

This poem is written by William Blake. In my previous posts, I have shared the questions and answers of the poem – The Echoing Green and A Poison Tree which are written by William Blake only. So, you can check these posts as well.

The Chimney Sweeper Questions & Answers

Word Galaxy

  • Sout – a black powder that is formed by the burning of the wood
  • Scarcely – hardly
  • Want – lack
  • Bare – bald

Question 1: Read and answer the questions:

(a) Why did little Tom Dacre cry?

Answer: Little Tom Dacre cried because his head’s hair was being shaved off.

(b) How did the speaker console him?

Answer: The speaker consoled him by saying that when your head is bald soot will not be able to spoil your white hair.

(c) What do these lines tells us about the speaker?

Answer: These lines tell us that the speaker is a very emotional and caring person.

Question 2: Read and answer the questions:

(a) At what time did Tom and the speaker wake up?

Answer: Tom and the speaker woke when it was still dark.

(b) What kind of life did the speaker and the other children have?

Answer: The speaker and the other children had a very terrible life because they were working from morning to night without having sufficient food.

(c) Why was Tom happy and warm on a cold morning?

Answer: Tom was happy and warm on a cold morning because the Angel told him that if he’d be a good boy, he’d have God for his father.

Question 3: Read and answer the questions:

(a) Who is the speaker of these lines?

Answer: The speaker of these lines is a very young boy who is employed as a chimney sweeper.

(b) Why does the child cry ‘Weep! Weep! Weep! Weep!? Explain the significance of the lisping and the repetition of the word ‘sweep’?

Answer: The child is saying so to announce that a chimney sweeper has arrived. Blake has tried to create pity for the young boy to show that the boy was very young when he was sold off to work as a chimney sweeper. The lisping shows that the child was so small that the child could not speak properly.

(c) So your chimneys I sweep and in soot I sleep. What is the signification of this line?

Answer: This line also makes us feel pity for him because he says that he cleans our chimneys and so is covered in soot and perhaps sleeps without a bath as they lived in inhuman conditions.

The Chimney Sweeper Questions & Answers

Question 4: Read and answer the questions:

(a) Who is Tom? What is the speaker’s relationship to little Tom?

Answer: Tom was a young chimney sweeper like the narrator. The narrator had comforted Tom because his head was shaved off.

(b) Describe Tom’s dream.

Answer: Tom saw thousands of chimney sweepers ‘locked up’ in black coffins. Some were perhaps his friends because he remembers their names.

(c) What does Tom’s dream mean?

Answer: In his dream, Tom saw that thousands of children like him are leading very unhappy lives. They worked as chimney sweepers, led miserable lives and perhaps slept in the bags that contained the soot, hence the reference of ‘coffins of black’. Since they worked in unhygienic conditions, they probably died young too. Hence the reference of being locked in coffins.

Question 5: Read and answer the questions:

(a) Who are ‘they’ in these lines? Why are they ‘naked and white’? What could be the ‘bags’ they leave behind?

Answer: ‘They’ in these lines are the chimney sweepers whom Tom saw in his dream. They are ‘naked and white’ because they have been set free from their miserable lives by an angel. The ‘bags’ they left behind could be the bags containing the chimney-cleaning equipment which they wouldn’t need anymore.

(b) Who is the Angel? How has the Angel helped Tom and the others?

Answer: The Angel is perhaps God’s messenger. He released Tom and the others from their miserable lives.

(c) What does the Angel tell Tom?

Answer: The Angel tells Tom that if he is good, God will be his father and he will never lack joy.

Question 6: How old was the speaker when his mother died?

Answer: The speaker was very young when his mother died.

Question 7: What did his father do with him?

Answer: His father sold him.

The Chimney Sweeper Questions & Answers

Question 8: What is meant by ‘in soot I sleep’?

Answer: By ‘in soot I sleep’ the poet means that where he is sleeping it is covered with black powder which is there when the chimney is cleaned.

Question 9: Who was Tom Dacre?

Answer: Dom Dacre was a little boy who was a companion of the poet.

Question 10: What did Tom see in his dreams?

Answer: Tom saw that thousands of sweepers were locked up in the coffins of black and then an Angel who had a bright key and he opened the coffins and set them all free. They were playing, running and laughing and they were washing in a river and shinning in the sun.

Question 11: What does ‘coffins of black’ refer to?

Answer: By coffins of black the poet refers to images of soot and ash.

Question 12: What did the Angel do with the ‘bright key’?

Answer: The Angel opened the coffins with the bright key.

Question 13: What did the Angel tell Tom?

Answer: The Angel told Tom that he’d be a good boy, he’d have God for his father and he will never want joy.

Question 14: Why is Tom ‘happy and warm’ although the ‘morning was cold’?

Answer: Tom is ‘happy and warm’ although the ‘morning was cold’ because he was comforted that his life would improve one day.

Question 15: Describe the terrible conditions in which the young chimney sweepers lived.

Answer: The young chimney sweepers were innocent boys who did not have a proper childhood. They were sold by their parents when they were young. They had to work in the dark sooty chimneys and they would be covered in soot. And since their hair would become covered with soot, their heads would be shaved.

So, these were The Chimney Sweeper Questions & Answers.