Essay on The Works Of Phillis Wheatley

1898 Words Nov 9th, 2015 8 Pages
The works of Phillis Wheatley often displays restrained emotion to her personal situation of enslavement. In her letter To His Excellency, George Washington, Wheatley uses classical Greek mythology such as the muses and aspects of ancient history to create allusions as she goes about her thoughts on slavery. This showcases her intelligence and learning when she calls upon the “Celestial Choir! Enthroned in realms of light, Columbia’s scenes of glorious toils I write” (Wheatley 362) as a poetical muse, which inspires her to write on the injustices of her society. This is followed by her personification and depiction of the “Goddess of Freedom” that is “divinely fair” as she begins her explanation of “freedom’s cause” to aid in stopping the sorrows created on “mother-earth’s offspring”. She speaks to the “white” society she calls Columbia, which symbolizes America, as a whole, not to her fellow slaves nor does she address them in her poetry: “Once century scarce performed its destined round, when Gallic powers Columbia’s fury found; and so may you, whoever dares disgrace the land of freedom’s heaven-defended race!” (Wheatley 362). Here Wheatley explains how the colonists are defended by God and that the “eyes of nations” are “fix’d on the scales of justice”, which serves as a warning to those who promote slavery in Britain. Wheatley subtly talks about her emotional reaction to her situation in Britain, by recalling how the colonists struggled with pursuing freedom, Wheatley…

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