Phillis Wheatley | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 31 pages of analysis & critique of Phillis Wheatley.
This section contains 9,116 words
(approx. 31 pages at 300 words per page)
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SOURCE: "A Slave's Subtle War: Phillis Wheatley's Use of Biblical Myth and Symbol," in Early American Literature, Vol. 21, No. 2, Fall, 1986, pp. 144-65.

In the essay that follows, O 'Neale objects to the identification of Wheatley's use of religious images and ideas with her conformity to Anglo-American culture. Instead, she argues that Wheatley "redeploys" these conventional tropes to define an abolitionist moral stance.

Any evaluation of Phillis Wheatley must consider her status as a slave. Wheatley was one of only three Americans who were able to publish poetry and prose while they were still in bondage. (The other two were Jupiter Hammon [1711-179?] and George Moses Horton [1797-1883].) Speaking out against one's "owners" or the society which either condoned or ignored the owners' action—while held in their joint "possession"—was a monumental task. Most of Wheatley's critics have not considered these factors when assessing her work. Nor have...

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This section contains 9,116 words
(approx. 31 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Sondra O'Neale
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