So long ago was the life of Phillis Wheatley, one of the most influential African American writers of her time, but her admired works of literature remain immortal. In merely eight lines of iambic pentameter, Wheatley’s notorious poem, “On Being Brought from Africa to America” delivers a more optimistic opinion and addresses how her faith has freed her during somber times of slavery. Using personification and allusions, Phillis Wheatley relates Christianity with her personal experiences of slavery in her renowned poem, “On Being Brought from Africa to America.” Wheatley uses a great amount of personification to explain her personal interaction with Christianity.
Within Ellis Island by Joseph Bruchac, On Being Brought from Africa to America by Phillis Wheatley, and Europe and America by David Ignatow there are different views of what the American Dream is and what it means to immigrants. Each author writes about their own experience of immigration and life in America, which shapes their view of the American dream. The common theme between the three poems is the variable nature of the American dream and how it has different meanings for each person coinciding with contradictions between leisure and suffering.
I believe that Phillis Wheatley’s intent in writing “On being Brought from Africa to America” was conscious. I believe that she was fully aware about what she’s writing. I say that because on line 4 “Once I redemption neither sought nor knew.” she writes from her personal experience by using “I” in her poetry. She talks about her own experience on brought to America as a slave. The write starts her poetry by describing how lucky she was to be brought to America from Africa. She goes on and tells us about how Christianity bought her the peace which she didn’t even knew she needed in her life. The second part of the poetry takes a little twist where writer changes from the first person view to the third person view. We know that because she switched
Beginning in the pre-Revolutionary War period, African American writers have engaged in a visionary, yet petulant, dialogue with American letters. The result became African American literature that is prosperous; thereby developing a social insight to their personal experiences and history. Although men are predominantly recognized in history for being well educated and powerful, women have played a great part in shaping America to what it is today. Phillis Wheatley, and Maria W. Stewart, were true Christian African American women that have portrayed historical events though literature. Wheatley and Stewart hold similar ideals for African Americans, however, their personalities are profoundly different. To illustrate, if there was a color
This poems speaks of the author’s religion, past, and her experiences with race in America. This poem is a rarity because most of Wheatley’s poems do not explicitly mention race. This poem, however, is an exception. Wheatley’s poem states, “Some view our sable race with scornful eye, ‘Their colour is a diabolic die.’ Remember, Christians, Negro's, black as Cain, May be refin'd, and join th' angelic train.”
In 1773, there were slaves all over colonial America working in plantations, and cleaning their masters houses. It wasn’t common for a slave to be writing poetry with their owners consent. Phyllis Wheatley’s success as the first African American published poet was what inspired generations to tell her story. It was her intellectual mind and point of view that made her different from others, both black and white. Phyllis’s story broke the barrier for all African American writers, and proved that no matter the gender or race, all human beings are capable of having an intelligent state of mind. Her arrival in America in 1761, at the age of eight is what started the story of a legend.
But, he then goes to show how her transformation came to be of a true mistress and how that kind of foolish power corrupted her. She was not a bad person, but being able to control over another human being transformed her from an angel into a demon. Douglass saw the change in her how “That cheerful eye, under the influence of slavery, soon became red with rage; that voice, made all of sweet accord, changed to one of harsh and horrid discord; and that angelic face gave place to that of a demon” (38). This just shows how slavery affects not just the slave but the slave owners as well. This vicious cycle desecrates and destroys everyone involved.
Another opportunity Wheatley is trying to accomplish is abolishing slavery and hoping the whites will consider them human also, ¨Once I redemption neither sought nor knew. Some view our sable race with scornful eye,.. (Wheatley, lines 5&6).¨ Now noticing the differences will be much easier to point out. Freneau 's poem is more about making the world a better place, ¨What wonders there shall freedom show, What might state 's successive grow! (Freneau, stanza 1).¨ Freneau explains why people wanted to settle and relocate themselves in rural areas because of their lack of freedom of religion, ¨Whose genius may the world engage,
When it comes to Whitfield’s poetry, his tone stands out as a key factor of his writing style. Most of the writing about slavery from black authors in the 1800s features ugly themes and retelling of experiences, but Whitfield excels at bringing his cynical attitude to the surface of his poetry. He also includes redeeming moments that instill hopefulness. His poem America exemplifies his direct tone of writing. He wastes no time to set the tone in his opening passage “America, it is to thee,| Thou boasted land of liberty,
(366). the mere symbol of being black shows that they are somehow inferior to the whites. This common theme, often shown by Marlow, again shows the effects of imperialism toward “lower” cultures. Further creating the illusion that colors are reversed in
Wheatley argues the significance that her race plays in her finding her Christian faith and how she and other people of color have souls that can be saved. Beginning with the title of the poem, it is clear that Wheatley wants her audience to understand the importance of having been brought to America, in a forceful way. This is distinct from using the word “coming”i because the word coming gives the connotation that she would have had a choice in the matter when in all actuality, Wheatley was brought over as a slave having no choice due to the fact that the people bringing her to America thought of her as property rather than as a human being with her own thoughts, feelings, and opinions. Although, Wheatley was forced to come to America to become the slave to American masters, she still claims in this poem that it was “mercy”i that brought her away from her home to America. So even though she was placed in what can be assumed as horrid conditions in the ship that would have brought her across the Atlantic, Wheatley managed to make it seem as though it was not the worst
Richard Wright starts his poem with the description of a scene in the woods. The adjectives that he used such as ‘grassy’, ‘scaly’, ‘sooty’, all help create a gloomy environment and give the audience a sense of ill omen. The introduction of the poem points out the existence of a ‘cut’, which detach the author from the scene, and I think this may relate to the reason why Coates used this poem as a start, as there are also some cuts that make Coates feel the difference between the world and him. Coates starts his book with ‘son’, so I assume that the first intention of him writing this book is probably not to publish or sell, but to give his son an impression of how the real world treats black people differently according to the color of their
Dawes hints at the child being dark-skinned by repeatedly using “black” as a descriptive word. For example, he uses the key word immediately in line 2: “I come like a swirl of black” and again in line 9, “the black of a tornado night.” He references both skin color and the experience of transitioning from a color-dominated country to a white-dominated country by writing, “I hurtle into a vacuum of white sheets billowing and paint a swirl of color” this is an example of imagery and could be interpreted to represent himself becoming a drop of difference in a sea of consistency. Coming to a country having mostly white citizens who were raised in American culture, Dawes looked distinctly different. He comes from a different cultura background.
According to chapter 10, Douglass says, “…He was only able to buy one slave; and, shocking as is the fact, he bought her, as he said, for a breeder” (Douglass, 45). Not only were women seen as an object of possession, but rather as an inhuman being, whose unwanted duty was to satisfy their master’s pleasures. Douglass thoroughly describes his introduction to another world and doesn’t hold back. His description of being introduced to “hell” demonstrates how the majority of America engaged in slavery.
Slavery is a tornado destroying everything in its path but it is given the power to do so by not judging anyone and devastating all. To describe this soul spinning, thought control process, Douglass uses another craft move, Contrasting. He uses this craft move when he talks of Mrs. Auld. For example, she was good as an angel at first and even “The meanest slave was put fully at ease in her presence” but that soon ended and “That cheerful eye, under the influence of slavery, soon became red with rage”(Douglass 6.2) Hence, the reader's mind now shifting to form a wary of slavery.