Tag Archives: The Chimney Sweeper

The Struggles of Poor Victorian Children

While reading Wuthering Heights, my heart ached for the child who was taken in by the Earnshaw’s. He was heavily mistreated by the family because of the way he looked and his position in society. As the evening approached, the family refused to allow the boy in their rooms even though he was alone and looking for a welcoming place to sleep. They referred to the boy as “it” and “put it on the landing of the stairs, hoping it might be gone on the morrow.” This shows that their hearts were cold towards the child, even though he was probably feeling vulnerable. In an attempt to find a place of comfort, the boy snuck into “Mr. Earnshaw’s room.” This action led him to get kicked out of their house. After his short stay with the family, he was alone and on the streets once again. The way they treated the boy was inhumane. Sadly, they probably did not see anything wrong with their actions because it was acceptable to treat people from different social classes badl. Unfortunately, this mentality was also apparent in The Chimney Sweeper.

The Chimney Sweeper represents how some lower-class children felt during the Victorian Era. They often had to work strenuous jobs just to survive. Even though they were so young and helpless, other citizens did not help them because they appeared to be happy. Sadly, they were left to fend for themselves, causing them to get clothed “in the clothes of death.” This meant that they were destined for a short lifespan. In a way, it also meant that they would never become successful because of their social standing. Just like the family in Wuthering Heights, the Victorian Era upper-class assumed that they had done the poor children no harm. However, this was far from the truth. The children were forced to fend for themselves and work at a young age. Had the upper class offered a helping hand to these children, they would not have had to face harmful work environments or worry about what the future held. The class divide during the Victorian Era was quite apparent and it cause the lower class to suffer immensely.

Image result for the chimney sweeper