Resistance From Oppression in Horton and Wheatley's Poems Essay

Good Essays

The back slave waits for his freedom. He knows he is created in the image of his God but his fairer fellows fail to see it. Phillys Wheatley and George Moses Horton give voice to the agony of the enslaved male and female. This essay presents an analysis of the poems On Being Brought from Africa to America and George Moses Horton: Myself by Wheatley and Horton respectively. The analysis discovers the message of resistance to the oppression of slavery, its effects and the hypocrisy of the “white Christian” found in these poems.
On Being Brought from Africa to America is in itself a myth destroyer. Wheatly opens her resistance poem by choosing the word “brought” within the title. This word allows her voice to be echoed loudly but covertly. …show more content…

Whitley’s resistance relies upon the knowledge that the white folks have inculcated into her mind. She now understands that the white folk used God’s word as an excuse to enslave her race and deprive them from their God-given rights. Which is also also a reason to strive for her freedom. Eric Slauter in his article Neoclassical Culture in a Society with Slaves Race and Rights in the Age of Wheatley speaks about the context in which Phyllis Wheatley wrote most of her poetry. Slauter cites Scottiss philosopher David Hume who wrote “the talk of one Negro as a man of parts and learning; bit ‘tis likely he is admired for every slender accomplishments like a parrot” David Hume, "Of National Characters" (1748). Slauter explains that this view is completely wrong because in fact blacks could learn culture and poetry in the case of Phyllis Wheatley. (Slauter, 2004). The fact of acquiring language itself denotes the humanity of a black person in comparison to a white one. However Wheatley in her poem used alliteration and a rhyme scheme AABBCCDDEE. They’re perfect rhymes that refute the myth about African Americans being unable to learn literature.
Lines six through eight are visually and intellectually a slap in the face of the so called “white Christian.” She writes, “Remember, Christians, Negros, black as Cain, May be refin’d, and join th’ angelic train.” Sure enough the audience of the time was rejoicing as they read

Get Access