The Fields Of Freedom In The Land Of Liberty

596 words - 3 pages

“To His Excellency General Washington,” by Phillis Wheatley, is a poem about America’s destiny for freedom and its resolution to fight for liberty. Wheatley addresses this poem to General George Washington during the American Revolutionary War. Throughout the poem, Wheatley depicts America as a self-reliant, heaven-favored nation. For example, a divine goddess leads the country in a fight for peace and liberty. The poem correlates America’s army to that of the powerful Greek wind god, Eolus. Wheatley instructs Washington to continue forward, to “Proceed” in the cause for independence (Line 39). She announces that even other countries watch, eager to see America succeed in its quest for liberty. Phillis Wheatley conveys America as an exemplary, independent country that deserves freedom through the use of personification, symbolism, similes, and diction.
Phillis Wheatley personifies America, describing the country as capable of fighting battles in her defense. America is a beautiful land, equivalent to heaven. Wheatley describes her as a place “enthron’d in realms of light” (Line 1). Columbia is a poetic, female name that recognizes America as a strong country. The name Columbia originates from Christopher Columbus. America, personified as a young woman, wishes for freedom and resorts to “refulgent arms” to protect herself (Line 4). Wheatley writes about “Columbia’s scenes of glorious toils,” the brilliant battles America wages in the war against Britain (Line 2).
The goddess wears olive and laurel which symbolizes peace. Wheatley states that the goddess brings “Unnumber’d charms and recent graces rise”“Wherever shines this native of the skies” (Line 11-12). The goddess blesses America by bringing peace and happiness as she “guides” Washington’s troops (Line 40). The line, “The land of freedom’s heaven-defended race,” reinforces that America’s people deserve...

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