Phillis Wheatley Research Paper

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Phillis Wheatley In 1761, John Wheatley, as a personal servant to his wife Susannah, purchased Phillis Wheatley as a slave at the age of 8. Phillis was the named after the ship that brought her over to America as her last name is adopted from the family. The Wheatley’s educated Phillis, teaching her English, Theology, Greek, Latin, and soon she began writing poetry. Her first published poem was at the age of 12. Phillis Wheatley life was abnormal, for during her time, African Americans were discouraged and intimidated from learning how to read and write. Nonetheless as a privileged slave, the challenges of society were inevitable--as she was still considered during this time the wrong color, wrong gender, and in the wrong country. Phillis Wheatley was a pioneering African-American poet becoming the first African American, third woman, and first U.S. slave to publish a book of poems. Wheatley modeled her work from English poets of the time, mainly John Milton, Thomas Gray, and Alexander Pope. Her first and only book was Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, gave her recognition and is a landmark achievement in American history. Many Anglo-Americans of the time found it difficult to credit Wheatley, an…show more content…
Wheatley proved to the world intellect is not a standard predetermined by one’s skin color. It is perceptive to recognize how “strategic” Wheatley is in her writings, as it could be understood as a subtle approach to opposition to be more plausible during her time. She articulated the political and religious discourses of the Revolution. In addition to making an important contribution to American literature, Wheatley’s literary and innovative abilities established that African Americans were equally intelligent and creative human beings who benefited from an education. Subsequently, this helped the cause of the

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