On Being Brought From Africa To America Analysis

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“On Being Brought from Africa to America” (1773) is one of the most famous poems by Phillis Wheatley. Wheatley was an African-American poet, who became known despite her being a Black woman for her literary success while living under the institution of slavery. The poem clearly indicates its overall representation which was to describe in great detail with the use of imagery, rhyme and meter the situation and experiences faced by the speaker. Wheatley chose to use meditation as the form for her contemplation throughout her enslavement as she meditates on the institution of slavery; she applies it to her instead of in turn making a more vocal condemnation or acceptance. The poem digs deeply into the mind of the young African American narrator…show more content…
There are many people in the world that do not know “that there’s a God, and there’s a Savior too.” Meanwhile the speaker is grateful of her Savior, even though she was violently stolen and shipped across the ocean from her native homeland of Africa. In the beginning of the poem the speaker makes no mention of being enslaved in America while she was free in Africa. Being utilized is a white/ dark contrast to demonstrate the narrator’s movement from a life of ignorance and misunderstanding in a “Pagan land” to a life of deliverance and revelation in her new found home. Shockingly, the imagery presented is quiet positive despite the negative aspects of the situation she is faced with. The speaker then explains why she believes that coming to America was good fortune. She did not know God or Christ and was therefore in a sinful and ignorant state prior to living in America. The image of night is used in a sense of Christianity to convey ignorance or sin, but the night can suggest skin color which is described in the poem as “sable” (5) meaning black. In addition, the metaphor of Africans living in darkness can therefore be interpreted. Any person who has now seen the shining light of god is therefore deemed to have a sinful
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