Emily Dickinson And Phillis Wheatley Analysis

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The pre-twentieth century, a period of tremendous change in America, produced many of the greatest works of literature which immensely influenced the style of most authors today, especially for feminist writers. The first wave of feminism occurred prominently during the pre-twentieth century, where women focused on legal issues such as women's suffrage. There were several feminist poets during this period, such as Emily Dickinson and Phillis Wheatley, that were known for their works regarding feminism. Dickinson and Wheatley’s influence on the movement have largely played a role in how women of any race or stature are treated today. Through several methods used by these poets such as rhetorical devices and figurative language, the audience …show more content…
Clearly the poem has a strong relationship between slavery and religion, as shown in the lines “Remember, Christians, Negros, black as Cain, May be refin’d, and join th’ angelic train”. She persuades her audience that she is not evil, as she was able to join the Christian faith, and that Christians and Africans are the same people and shouldn’t be separated. However, there is another aspect that Wheatley demonstrates throughout this poem. As mentioned before, she rarely writes anything based on slavery and this could be a result of who her intended audience was. Because she was dependent on the generosity of her owner to publish her work, she most likely was restricted from writing as freely as she could as it may not be popular amongst her audience.6 This is further proven as Wheatley’s home in Boston refused to allow the publishing of her work, due to the idea that few would believe that an African could possibly have written poetry all by herself.7 As a result, Wheatley most often used her talents of utilizing irony, doubling, internal stress patterns, and puns towards writing about prominent people in society, who were usually men, that many would find appealing and relevant.8 An example of this would be in her next poem to George Washington. In the last few lines of the poem, she …show more content…
This is significant since it is usually male figures that are influential to a person’s journey towards achievement. In addition, she writes to him with such praise that it results in a win-win situation - she is noticed by him and is invited to meet him in Massachusetts, and Washington benefits from having the support of a well-known poet. Having the knowledge that several known male figures in society were helping her rise to fame, Wheatley started to grow as a writer and aimed at publishing another book of poems. However it was never published, as she slowly started to lose support of these male figures. Her owner’s death, the lack of financial support, and her marriage to a freed man crumpling as they lived in poverty resulted in the fall of her career, as well as her life. In her last letter to a friend named Obour Tanner in 1779, she writes about the reason for her delay in writing back to her friend, noting that she had several hindrances and that she hopes to get in contact with her friend soon, asking Tanner to pray for her.9 Wheatley reveals her distress, as it was written a year after the death of her owner. Although she was freed from slavery, her quality of life had dwindled as her husband was unable to financially support her. Eventually he left her and their child and they later passed away due to the horrid levels

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