Phillis Wheatley | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 43 pages of analysis & critique of Phillis Wheatley.
This section contains 12,759 words
(approx. 43 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Phillip M. Richards

SOURCE: "Phillis Wheatley, Americanization, the Sublime, and the Romance of America," Style, Vol. 27, No. 2, Summer, 1993, pp. 194-221.

In the following essay, Richards characterizes Wheatley's poetry as an attempt to acquire and wield authorial status within American society.

I

In a series of suggestive remarks on Phillis Wheatley, Kenneth Silverman mentions the African-American poet's self-consciousness. Raising this issue, he strikes a chord with various resonances.1 The acute self-consciousness, which Wheatley shares with a number of early-American writers, may well have come from her sense of participating as a provincial in a cosmopolitan literary tradition. Or, as a number of critics of African-American literature haveargued, her self-consciousness may inhere in her subversive use of the literary languages of the period (Baker, The Journey Back 11-15; Gates, Figures in Black 52-53). In either case, Wheatley's relationship to late eithteenth-century Anglophone literary culture suggests a familiar period theme, echoing a prominent motif...

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This section contains 12,759 words
(approx. 43 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Phillip M. Richards
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Critical Essay by Phillip M. Richards from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.