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Philis Wheatley's Poem In The Poetry Of Phillis Wheatley

Decent Essays
Phillis Wheatley (1753-1784) was the first African-American woman in America to have publish a series of poems. Although having such an incredible recognition, her roots did not start in America. She was brought as a slave from Africa at a young age. She was sold and bought by the patriarch of the Wheatley family as a gift to his wife. Unlike other slave owners, Wheatley was encouraged to have an education. After having been taught to read, she came to know the bible; she later uses Christianity as a main theme is many of her poetry. Another recurring theme is race, such as in “On Being Brought from Africa to America (17??).” In the poem, she discusses her voyage to America as a slave and Christianity “saving” her [fix later]. There has been controversy about whether or not Phillis Wheatley sees her enslavement as a positive thing as it brought her to Christianity or as a negative as it took her freedom. By Wheatley’s use of allusion, symbolism, and tone, the audience is able
(line 1-2) It is possible to assume she is referring to her past. However, this line can be seen as a transformation of an individual. In Christianity, salvation is obtained by God’s mercy. Wheatley seems to be happy to have been brought to America, a land of Christianity. Notice that she uses the word “brought” instead of the similar sounding (and accurate) “bought,” as if to passively protest slavery. Her happiness is based on the fact that she found divine mercy in Christianity, and God alone – not
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