Wheatley's Hatred For Slavery

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Wheatley and Freneau both held a deep hatred for slavery. The two poems, On Being Brought from Africa to America, and On the Emigration to America and Peopling the Western Country were based on this hatred. There are, however, differences in these two poems, such as the forms of immigration. Phillis Wheatley was opposed to the ideas and actions of slavery. However, she believed that those who were kidnapped and taken from their homes in Africa, were saved from living a Pagan life, “ ’Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land, taught my benighted soul to understand”(154). Those who were brought from their homeland and sold as slaves were usually forced to practice the religion of their owners or masters. This was a merciful act, according to Phillis Wheatly. The slaves were taught the ways of God and were supposedly saved from an eternal life in hell. When Phillis says, “Remember Christians, Negroes, black as Cain, May be refin’d, and join th’ angelic train” (154). In saying this, she is…show more content…
After returning to America, Freneau wrote a poem about America and some of his experiences. He observes that the easternmost states have greater quantities of African slaves, “The east is half to slaves consigned, Where kings and priests enchain the mind” (156). The slaves were prohibited from learning how to read or write; claiming that if they learned these things they would be more inclined to run away. If one was enslaved against their own will, it would be human nature for them to think about running away. The fact that slavery was still a factor of many American lives angered Freneau. He wasn’t very fond of the idea that whites depended greatly on their slaves but never gave them anything in return, “Where still the African complains, And mourns his yet unbroken chains” (156). Philip knew that the slaves felt the same was but never showed it in fear of their

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