Many critics find among her work poetry that excels that typical of her time, and instances of individuality and oblique resistance which acquit her of the common charge of being a mere imitator.
Wheatley was taught to read and write English and on her own studied classical and contemporary poetry as well as French, Latin, and Greek literature.
It is probable that Phillis was asked to recite long passages of scripture or to translate words using Latin or Greek. Phillis Wheatley was abducted from her parents and her home in West Africa when she was around seven years old, she was named for the slave ship The Phillis that delivered her into slavery.
Historians have commented on her reluctance to write about slavery. Often times, Wheatley uses classical mythology and ancient history as allusions, including many references to the muses as inspiring her poetry in a clear imitation of the great authors that she had studied earlier in her life.
Her works differ from the writers to follow because she does not openly discourage slavery.
Although she did not intentionally advocate for African Americans she served as an example and proof that African Americans possessed the intelligence and ability and laid the way for many others. In that way, Phillis Wheatley rose above the stipulations put upon slavery to a mock-freedom and from this mock-freedom to the forefront of American Literature.
Julian Mason notes that "her favorite poetic form was the heroic couplet of English neoclassicism," from which she only rarely diverged. At first glance this poem by Phillis seems a bit off putting, but now that we know her background it will be a little clearer as to why she wrote what she wrote.
In less than two years, under the tutelage of Susanna and her daughter, Phillis had mastered English; she went on to learn Greek and Latin and caused a stir among Boston scholars by translating a tale from Ovid. This could be read as denying the power to those human beings who kidnapped her and subjected her to the voyage and to her subsequent sale and submission.
Some critics have argued that Wheatley's works must be judged by examining the poetic models and social influences within her restricted sphere, noting the irony of her position: Wheatley was the first black woman known to have published a book in the United States.
Although all may not agree with her views, it cannot be removed that her intellect and abilities reached far beyond her years and gave her works the resilience to transcend generations.
Mather Byles and Rev. Being a female author at the time was somewhat common but it was not as greatly respected as a male author would have been. My Great-Grandmother practically raised me on the stories of the slave trade.
She has made clear to us all her feelings concerning the plight of the African American people as well as her belief that the African American people have suffered critical setbacks in their quest for equality.
They enlisted the assistance of many men who were monumentally influential in society. What must be understood is that the time period in which Wheatley wrote and the time period in which man individuals read her works are drastically different.
Perhaps it was because she had conflicting feelings about the institution. Of the extant poems not contained in Poems on Various Subjects, many are, variants of earlier poems, but also include the poem in praise of George Washington and General Lee.
Mar 25, · Phillis Wheatley Essay; Phillis Wheatley Essay. Analyzing the Poetry of Phillis Wheatley. Although each poem exhibits a unique voice and topic, the poems share some characteristics, particularly the use of history, form, voice and diction.
This essay will begin with an examination of each poem individually, with specific attention. Wheatley is arguably one of the most discussed authors of her time - Notes on Phillis Wheatley introduction.
Her success is an accumulation of the many rare circumstances that she was afforded in life. One could argue that it was pure luck that afforded her the. Phillis Wheatley: Phillis Wheatley, the first black woman poet of note in the United States. The young girl who was to become Phillis Wheatley was kidnapped and taken to Boston on a slave ship in and purchased by a tailor, John Wheatley, as a personal servant for his wife, Susanna.
Though Wheatley generally avoided the topic of slavery. Sarah Schmitz English Professor Gray Essay 1 Phillis Wheatley’s “On Being Brought from Africa to America” Phillis Wheatley was a black slave, born in Africa and brought to America in Phillis Wheatley, also spelled Phyllis and Wheatly (c.
– December 5, ) was the first published African-American female poet.   Born in West Africa, she was sold into slavery at the age of seven or eight and transported to North America. Phillis Wheatley acquired her last name from Susannah Wheatley–it was the norm during this time period for slave owners to give their slaves their last names.
She was named Phillis ironically “after the ship that brought her to slavery” (Loggias, ).An analysis of the topic of slavery and the topic of phillis wheatley