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Critical Analysis of Phillis Wheatley

Introduction

❶Critical Reception Scholarship on Wheatley's poetry has tended to emphasize the unusual fact of the author's identity.

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She had a very mature writing style while still a young teenager. Fortunately for Phillis Wheatley, her owners and their family did not treat her like a slave. Her education was encouraged and her writings were praised. He went with her to London in where she hoped to gain support of her manuscript and have her works published.

Her first book, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, was published while she was technically an enslaved African. Her new friends in England that she met while gaining support for her manuscript requested that she be freed, and her owners obliged.

The marriage did not last as he abandoned her. She never stopped writing, but she only had a few new poems published after her marriage.

To support herself since her husband had left, she became a servant. When she died in , she was living in poverty still working as a servant. It was after her death that more of her works were published. There were two additional books of her work that were published, and it is said that she has more works that remain hidden.

Phillis Wheatley must have written hundreds, if not thousands, of poems. This is the poem that I read in my previous course and this one too which shows how popular it is. It is such a joy to read because so many enslaved Africans were very angry over their enslavement. The entire poem is about how she was able to learn about Christianity and that changing her life.

In some ways, this could be taken in a negative light saying you must be Christian to be accepted, but I took in a positive way because I believe her faith was genuine and she was thankful to have been taught about God and Christianity.

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. I was surprised to learn Phillis Wheatley viewed slavery as an opportunity rather than a cruel and dehumanizing system. Her works differ from the writers to follow because she does not openly discourage slavery. As a child Phillis showed that she had a great aptitude, her owners took an interest in her education and began to teacher her to read and write.

She was a fast learner and soon began to study Latin and literature. Her early education is reflected in her complex works, even at a young age she mimic Pope and Milton in her writing style. Her first poem was published when she was just twelve years old. Her writings shocked white America and spoke for itself.

Although she did not advocate for the freedom of her people. She had laid the ground work in displaying that African American were just as capable and in her case more of being as intelligent as anyone else.

However publishers refused to acknowledge Wheatley and denied that she had actually written her own poems. Although she finally received the credit she was unable to find a publisher who would publish her works in America.


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- Phillis Wheatley Phillis Wheatley was America's first black poet. She was born in Senegal, Africa in and she was sold into slavery at the age of seven to John and Susannah Wheatley of Boston. Phillis was soon accepted as a member of the family, and was raised with the Wheatley's other two children.

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SOURCE: "Phillis Wheatley and the Black American Revolution," in A Mixed Race: Ethnicity in Early America, edited by Frank Shuffelton, Oxford University Press, , pp. [ In the essay that follows, Erkkila emphasizes the revolutionary power of Wheatley's use of republican and religious figurations of enslavement and redemption.

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Essay: Phillis Wheatley Phillis Wheatley, one of America s most profound writers, has contributed greatly to American literature, not only as a writer, but as an African American woman, who has influenced many African Americans by enriching their knowledge of and exposure to . Phillis Wheatley essays Phillis Wheatley was born in West Africa around the year She was only a few years younger than Thomas Jefferson, yet her life was very different. Phillis Wheatley was kidnaped and sold into slavery at age seven to a wealthy Boston family, Mr. and Mrs. John Wheatley.

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Phillis Wheatley was an exceptional student and is said to have mastered English, including reading and writing, in less than two years time. After mastering English, she went on to learn both Greek and Latin. According to the readings and obvious by her works, Phillis Wheatley was . Phillis Wheatley Essay Words | 10 Pages. Introduction The illustration that Phillis Wheatley portrays in history is an African-American woman who wrote poetry. Her life goes more into depths that what is perceived, however. Phillis Wheatley uses her poetry as a unique way to get out the truth.