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To His Excellency General Washington Essay

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Kelly is an instructor of creative writing and literature at Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, Illinois. In this essay, he recognizes the common tendency to interpret Wheatley's poem in terms of her race and her significance to blacks in America, but he urges readers to not make too much of what is not there.

To contemporary students, the story of Phillis Wheatley is often more interesting than her poems. This is especially true in the case of the historical poem "To His Excellency General Washington," which comes with a full background story, complete with a guest appearance by one of America's most famous personages. The poem's root story is fascinating and is itself an important part of the nation's heritage. It does indeed deserve to be studied today because the details about race, education, and heroism have much to tell about how the country developed to the...

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This section contains 1,575 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the To His Excellency General Washington Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
To His Excellency General Washington from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.