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Analysis Of The Poem ' On Being Brought From African Americans '

Decent Essays
Dasia Mitchell
November 1, 2015
Response Paper #1

People in countries where a particular religion is entwined in the culture may brand their fellow citizens who adopt a different religion as traitors. Others outside that country may call them brainwashed. Wheatley was in this situation, and she tried to convince people that this wasn 't true. The poem "On Being Brought from Africa to America" illustrates this point.
Wheatley wrote in the first line, " 'Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land.1" Could she really have meant that Africa was inherently a Pagan land? It 's important to examine what she meant before the question can be answered fully. She had by the time she wrote these words adopted the Christian religion. Christians who really believe what the Bible says naturally believe that people who aren 't Christians are by definition pagans. She referred to the land as pagan because the people of her land were not aware of Christ and so were as a matter of course and culture, pagans. Because the people were pagans, the land was pagan.
In the second line, Wheatley refers to her "benighted" soul. Wheatley uses it to illustrate what she believed was the sinful state she was in before she became a Christian. The word benighted implies darkness. She felt like before she had come to America and heard the message of Christianity and adopted it as her own, she had been in darkness. She used this also to contrast it with what her condition was when she wrote.
Wheatley
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