Phillis Wheatley Essay

3061 words - 12 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. Through poems such as On Being Brought From Africa to America and the poem about Lee, she made statements about was what going on at that time; a revolution. Phillis Wheatley was known as a revolutionary mother, for she gave hope to slaves, ease to whites, and was an influence to America. She was not known for conflict or trying to start an argument, but she more known for personalizing her thoughts onto a piece of paper, read by all of America. Her ideas were used as an influence during the revolutionary war. Phillis Wheatley was not an ordinary slave, but she was accepted into society my the majority. The family who raised her, taught her how to read and write, and she slowly turned into a woman of the revolution.

Biography and Accomplishments
Phillis Wheatley was born in about 1753, in Gambia, Africa. She was kidnapped when she was seven or eight years old, in 1761, and brought to America. John Wheatley bought her at the Boston docks for his wife, Savanna, who was in need of a young servant. The Wheatley's gave her the name Phillis, and also let their 18-year old daughter teach her the English language. Their daughter, Mary, realized very quickly that Phillis was an entertaining mimic and could learn to read very fast. Phillis was given lessons from the Bible, which were meant to be quite difficult, but Phillis learned so quickly that the family didn't know what to do with it. Only after a few short months, this girl had already learned so much and was even found to know how to write! After sixteen months of being in the Wheatley household, Phillis was reading the hardest parts of the Bible and her writing had become amazingly skillful. She was too much for the mistress anymore, for Mary didn't know too much more than Phillis at this point. The Wheatley son, Nathaniel, continued to encourage Phillis to read whatever she could.
The newest question that aroused in the Wheatley family, was that since now Phillis could speak fluent English, could she explain her past and development. "All she could remember of her past was an image of her mother pouring water on the land before the rising sun, honoring the new ay by the rite#".(pg 95 Women in the American Revolution) This shows that Phillis could have learned the Arabic language. She was often told that Phillis should consider herself lucky because she brought into a land of Christianity. However, her Bible tells her that "the black children of Cain are marked for perdition#".( pg 96 Women in the American Revolution) Phillis was noted for her prayer, in which she wrote in her Bible for God to save her, "Oh my...

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