Research Paper On Phillis Wheatley

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Phillis Wheatley The wise man Albert Einstein once said, “The woman who follows the crowd usually goes no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.” In other words, being a follower limits your path to that of the ones you follow, but going by yourself allows you to choose your own route, with which the possibilities may be endless. Being the first published African American female poet, Phillis Wheatley walked alone. It brought her quite far in life as a poet in her time. Sold into slavery at a young age, Wheatley was fortunate to have a caring master and family. Wheatley’s poetry bloomed at a young age with their support. Though her poetry was not cherished in the Colonies,…show more content…
Based on the title and certain word cues in the poem, Phillis Wheatley’s audience is a group of scholars from University of Cambridge. She starts by telling her background and how she was pulled from her dark home in dreaded Africa to safety. She tells the scholars that they have much opportunity and are really smart, but the best information they’ll receive is about Jesus Christ and His grand sacrifice for humanity’s salvation. She concludes by warning them to be careful of what they do, avoiding sin at all costs because it leads to eternal damnation in the long run. Wheatley, being the speaker of the poem, humbles herself before these intelligent individuals. She mentions twice where she comes from in contrast to where the scholars come from. She is from struggle, but they were born in privilege and have advantages, such as excellent education. Perhaps, Wheatley wanted to highlight racial differences in her time, but also tell these students who to thank for their luck, which they should not take for granted. Wheatley has great use of imagery to describe Christ’s sacrifice for man’s sins. For example, “Immense compassion in his bosom glow,” (line 14). As for Wheatley’s tone, it is meek, but cautionary. At the beginning of the poem she pointed out where she came from. Not so long ago she came from Africa, a cursed land of imprisonment like that of the Jews by…show more content…
an Infant of Twelve Months”. The thing about Wheatley’s poems is that the titles speak for themselves. This poem is one of her many elegies, to someone not particularly close to her, Charles Eliot. In the beginning of the poem Wheatley is describing the pleasant experience for the baby’s soul to ascend to the angels. The infant is so innocent that he is grateful to have escaped the sinfulness of the earth to come to his new heavenly home. Wheatley attempts to console the parents of the infant, saying that he is in a better place now from which their tears are not going to bring him back. They should just wait to be with their son in that divine place. The poem is from Wheatley’s point of view, but she switches to dialogue of the angels, infant, and parents. Wheatley in the poem has a sympathetic tone. She is sorry for the parents’ loss of their baby, and tries to comfort them. She essentially is telling the parents that Charles is in a great heavenly place, where he can bask in his innocence. This way is better for Charles because he will not have to experience the evil of the world. The end of the poem, however, takes a positive shift. These three lines offer a happy ending for the infants’ parents in which they can all be together with him. Lines 44-46 say, “To yon bright regions let your faith ascend, / Prepare to join your dearest infant

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