Phillis Wheatley Personification

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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. Her first four lines identify mercy supporting her by bringing her from her homeland…show more content…
The entire poem references Christianity; however, at the end of the poem, Wheatley reprimands Christians who view African American slaves “with [a] scornful eye” (5), saying that African Americans, “black as Cain, may be refin’d, and join th’ angelic train” (7-8). This is a reference to the bible story of Cain and Abel; even after Cain killed his brother Abel, his God allowed him to live a full, life. With these lines, Wheatley explains to her listeners that despite the stereotypes others have for African Americans, they still deserve to have the full, ordinary life that others are privileged to receive. By articulating a significant allusion to emphasize her point, Wheatley once again relates Christianity to her personal experiences, specifically the observations of interactions between African American slaves and their advantaged owners. With extensive use of personification and allusions, Phillis Wheatley recounts Christianity with her experiences of slavery and redemption. Nevertheless, she finds delight in bondage with the help of her faith, and through her faith, she defines her aspiration for equality among all races. Her profound thoughts and beliefs in “On Being Brought from Africa to America” and more of her works inspire a spark of liberty and ambition in her
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