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Phillis Wheatley Poem Analysis

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Ishelle Touchton Patricia Schernekau ENGL 2130 21 September 2017 Phillis Wheatley Phillis Wheatley, one of America’s best writers and contributors to American literature, helped enrich our knowledge about her life through the use of imagery in her poems. Wheatley wrote many poems throughout her life. Her poems include, “On Being Brought From Africa to America”, ”To The Right Honorable William, Earl of Dartmouth”, “ The Thoughts of the Works of Providence”, and many more. Wheatley uses imagery in her poem “On Being Brought From Africa to America.” In this poem she discusses what it was like being kidnapped at a young age and taken to America to be bought as a slave. In line one, she talks about being “brought to America”, this is showing an example of change imagery. The word “brought” is painting a picture in our minds to show an image that she experienced. Phillis was kidnapped and brought to America where she was sold into slavery. The word “brought” is trying to create this image in our minds as we read through her poem. On line two she illustrates the use of dark imagery by saying “my benighted soul.” By this she means her soul is being overtaken by darkness. This paints a picture of a scared seven year old being taken. You can visualize her on the ship, being taken and scared. This puts a dark and scary image in our minds to make us feel empathy for her. She also mentions “That there’s a God, that there’s a savior too.” This shows us that she is religious, yet in the
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