Analysis Of Phillis Wheatley's On Being Brought From Africa To America

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Slavery is the centerpiece of a particularly dark and shameful section of American history. In America, it lasted 246 years. However, everyone wasn’t passive or active participant, some brave and outspoken African American and white Americans led resistances against the corrupt system. They are called abolitionists. Many African Americans and white American abolitionists used poems, books, and pamphlets to spread the word about the need to end slavery. Phillis Wheatley’s poem On Being Brought from Africa to America and Thomas Gray’s novel The Confessions of Nat Turner both show how two African Americans, influenced by religion, attempted to draw attention to the injustices of slavery, Wheatley’s poem uses an indirect and more diplomatic approach. …show more content…
Wheatley uses Christianity to show the impact Christianity had on her life. She describes how Christianity taught her to understand that there is a God (Wheatley 2). Christianity allows Wheatley to make a connection with her white readers and make a claim about the injustices of slavery.
In the poem On Being Brought from Africa to America Wheatley uses depictions to discuss the impact Christianity had on her life. Throughout the beginning of the poem, Wheatley is drawing herself closer to her audience by seemingly agreeing to their justifications of slavery. In the first three lines of the poem, she is the ideal example of a slave taken from her uncivilized land and saved through religion. Furthermore, she says mercy brought her from her “Pagan land” (Wheatley 1). In this period, many Europeans used to claim that by bringing Africans away from their uncivilized land they were giving them the opportunity to be enlightened about the power of Christ and, consequently, save themselves. In this period White Americans viewed Africans as uncivilized, polytheistic, pagans. Thus, on the surface, it seems like Wheatley is agreeing with the Caucasian viewpoint. She is
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Turner begins his confessions by describing his childhood. When he was a child he was able to describe events that happened before his birth. This caused people to think that he was a prophet (Gray 42). By saying that others believed that he is a prophet, he is building credibility in the claims he makes. Turner states that one day a spirit that talked to prophets came to him and told him to seek the kingdom of God; this revelation cemented his belief that God choose him for a greater purpose (Gray 44). Then Turner saw visions from such as drops of blood in the corn and hieroglyphics in leaves (Gray 45). These visions made him believe that the day of judgment was coming and that before this day came he had to fight against his enemies, which were white slave owners. Thus, Turner and the other rebels proceeded with their rebellion; however, they first agreed to kill everyone regardless of age and gender (Gray 46). This is an important distinction to make. African slaves were tortured regardless of their age and gender. Young children were separated from their families, old women were whipped, and most slaves encountered some degree of starvation. This fueled Nat’s feeling of vengeance. This is seen when Gray asks Turner if his master was cruel and Turner stays that his master was kind (Gray 46). This is striking because a slave with a kind master should have no reason to

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