Compare And Contrast Bradstreet And Phillis Wheatley

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Anne Bradstreet writes, “If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” This quote summarizes much of what she and fellow writer, Phillis Wheatley’s, lives were like during their fights for social change. Throughout their lives, these women were forced to endure challenges and injustices on levels unimaginable to many members of today’s society. While Bradstreet and Wheatley did much to contend these challenges, such as directly addressing the masses in their writings as forms of protests, their differences are precisely the elements that both unite and distinguish them from one another. In Phillis Wheatley’s “On Being Brought from Africa to America,” …show more content…

They each used their writing as means of expressing their interest in social change in the pursuit of equality. While each woman advocated for different messages, their similarity lies in the fact that they both actively used their creative processes to speak their minds to the fullest extent. For instance, Wheatley uses her writing to express the injustices posed against African-Americans of her time. While she does not directly address slavery, she points out the inequality and separation between whites and blacks and the negative prejudices white people hold. Wheatley addresses the issue by saying, “Some view our sable race with scornful eye, / ‘Their colour is a diabolic die,’” (Wheatley 5-6) and touches on her counterpoint by saying, “[Blacks] May be refined, and join the angelic train” (Wheatley 8). Wheatley’s tone in these lines raises suggestions of her protest at the unfair labeling of her entire race. She uses the insult, one that was commonly directed toward African-Americans and turns it on those disparaging her and her people. It is in these statements that Wheatley is beginning to express her feelings of annoyance with the abuse: both verbal and physical. She wants to make clear that while this negative belief is prevalent in society, it is not correct nor is it consistent with the …show more content…

Wheatley begins her poem by explaining what her life in America has given her, “‘Twas mercy brought me from my pagan land, / Taught my benighted soul to understand / That there's a God, that there's a Savior too” (Wheatley 1-3) but later notes, “Remember, Christians, Negroes, black as Cain, / May be refined, and join the angelic train” (Wheatley 7-8). She uses this progression of thought to establish two separate ideas for her audience and then have them find the logic in her overall message without her spelling it out to them. To begin, she uses her experience to express her own success in seeing a change of character and the subsequent development into a dutiful, honest Christian. It is later clear in the following lines, however, that she intends to use this anecdote to serve as a model of what all other members of her race would be capable of achieving. This style of logical argumentation seeks to provide audiences with the idea that if Wheatley was capable of this change, then clearly others of her same status would be, too. It is her way of making the conversation of in support of segregation between the races seem trivial and illogical. If she is able to reform herself into the ideal Christian that society accepts, then others can too, regardless of their race. Ultimately, these women

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