Wheatley Poetry Analysis

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Wheatley 's societal position does not hinder her ability to express how she believes the powerful undergraduates should morally conduct themselves. At the beginning of the first stanza, Wheatley underlines how writing poetry is a central component of her being. "An intrinsic ardor" (Wheatley 1), or an internal fire, compels her to write, while mythological "muses" (Wheatley 2) guide her as she pours out her emotions onto the paper. Wheatley also proclaims that she left her native Africa not long ago (Wheatley 3). In effect, Wheatley assumes the position of a foreign woman in a new, mysterious land who relies on mythological creatures to guide her creativity. However, as the poem progresses, she takes on the position of an enslaved woman attempting to break free from her chains to address individuals residing at the top of society. In the first line of the second stanza, following a break, Wheatley recognizes the immense privileges granted to the undergraduates as a result of their time spent at Harvard College when stating "Students, to you 'tis giv 'n to scan the heights" (Wheatley 7). However, through addressing the undergraduate students, Wheatley is adopting the power that the students are able to exhibit as a result of their skin color and educational background. The placement of this line at the beginning of the second stanza further highlights how Wheatley is depicting herself as an individual who is attempting to climb the ladder of society so that she can directly
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