My Analysis on Phyllis Wheatley

Topics: Slavery, Black people, Phillis Wheatley Pages: 2 (442 words) Published: May 19, 2005
Phillis Wheatley was an intelligent woman with one major downfall; she was a slave, however, Wheatley did not allow this characteristic to stop her from doing what she wanted to do. As a slave, Wheatley was more than fortunate to have been taught how to read and write. She decided to take these talents and turn it into something even more positive, so she began writing poetry and letters. Although Wheatley's work was exceptional, it was not published. It wasn't until the 1830s that "Wheatley's poetry was rediscovered by the New England abolitionists" (pg. 367). Through her work, Wheatley is described as a "bold and canny spokesperson for her faith and her politics" (pg. 367) and without her doubt, I think that her work should go noticed and credited for its honesty. Just as mentioned in the book, "there could be no justice anywhere if people in authority were deaf to the history of human sorrow" (pg. 367). In other words, slave owners should've allowed their slaves to speak out concerning the pain and suffering that they went through. Unfortunately, in most cases, this was not allowed; however, Wheatley was given the opportunity to speak out and she took it. In fact, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. has argued, "Wheatley launched two traditions at once- the black American literary tradition and the black woman's literary tradition" (pg. 367).

By reading these selections, I was given a glimpse into Wheatley's world and the way she saw it. Her work proved that she was a dedicated writer that believed without a shadow of a doubt in including the reality of situations and painting picturesque images. I especially liked the way her wording captivated me in the sense that with the shortest phrase, a major scene was envisioned. For example, in "On the Death of the Rev. Mr. George Whitefield", she wrote, "thy sermons in unequaled accents flowed, and every bosom with devotion glowed, thou didst in strains of eloquence refined inflame the heart, and captivate the mind"...
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