Bury Me In A Free Land Analysis

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Frances Ellen Watkins Harper was born in Baltimore, Maryland, a renowned slave state; she was never a slave herself however, her upbringing was hugely influenced by the unwanted leftover impact of slavery and the discrimination, racism and sexism that came with it. ‘The infamous death of a free man, resulting from his recapture and re-enslavement under a brutal new law intended to reduce black settlement in Maryland, was an important factor in her decision to leave her job as sewing teacher in Ohio and work for the anti-slavery cause full-time.’ Rumens (2017) In her poem ‘Bury me in a free land’ Harper effectively uses imagery to convey the theme of slavery. Throughout the poem Harper makes effective use of several poetic techniques to convey this central concern; clever metaphors, similes and emotional, creative imagery express the horror and despair of slavery. ‘Make me a grave where'er you will, In a lowly plain, or a lofty hill; Make it among earth's humblest graves, But not in a land where men are slaves.’…show more content…
Harper would rather be buried in the “humblest of earth’s graves” than be buried in a land where slavery reigned. The writer seems to accept death and understands that she will die at some point, however her word choice in ‘make it among earth's humblest graves’ and ‘but not in a land where men are slaves’ effectively shows us that she is almost desperate to not be buried in a land that permits enslavement. From the get go, Harper effectively conveys the theme of slavery by creatively building an image of her desperation to get away from
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