Literature Analysis Essay

703 Words Aug 30th, 2016 3 Pages
Literature Analysis

Noah Serna

Western Governors University

Humanities C100

January 15, 2016











Personal Observations of the Work

The work of literature that I chose to do my initial observations on is a poem written by Phillis Wheatley, called “To S.M., a Young African Painter, on Seeing his Works.” This poem was written during the enlightenment period. I particularly chose this poem because I always had an interest in reading about African literature and how over time equal rights for everyone became a success. Upon reading this poem, which was slightly difficult to understand, Wheatley communicates about how powerful imagination can be. She mentions how imagination can give an
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The enlightenment period or the age of reason as some say brought in many new discoveries in science, laws, wars, and revolutions (MindEdge, Inc., 2016). This was mainly due to how enlightenment thinkers across Europe questioned authority and argued that liberty was a human right. Reason and scientific knowledge not the state or church was believed to bring in human progress (MindEge, Inc., 2016)



I think in some sort of way Wheatley’s poems were connected to all this type of movement during this period of time, especially with the opposing issues of American slavery and American freedom. The relevance of this work for today’s audiences help to appreciate the harsh times some of the slaves experienced through Wheatley’s poems. Although this piece of work does not directly tell us about slavery, one can point out clues of what she was trying to tell us through the usage of spiritual language and metaphors. I do not blame her. I am sure it was hard enough to post something without being criticized for being a black woman during that time.



Conclusion

In summary, the knowledge I gained through this analysis did change my thoughts about this work. Wheatley uses art to communicate a variety of thoughts in the poem such as religion, race, and self-expression. She links art with spiritual fulfillment, which I initially did not see. Wheatley states to Spicio Moorhead (the African painter in the poem) that their…