Essay about Resistance From Oppression in Horton and Wheatley's Poems

Essay about Resistance From Oppression in Horton and Wheatley's Poems

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The back slave waits for his freedom. He knows he is created in the image of his God but his fairer fellows fail to see it. Phillys Wheatley and George Moses Horton give voice to the agony of the enslaved male and female. This essay presents an analysis of the poems On Being Brought from Africa to America and George Moses Horton: Myself by Wheatley and Horton respectively. The analysis discovers the message of resistance to the oppression of slavery, its effects and the hypocrisy of the “white Christian” found in these poems.
On Being Brought from Africa to America is in itself a myth destroyer. Wheatly opens her resistance poem by choosing the word “brought” within the title. This word allows her voice to be echoed loudly but covertly. The word “Brought” symbolizes her current condition as a slave female. She has never been given the choice to be a human, thus it implies that ever since she came to America her right to be a woman has been denied. The fairer fellow has made her mere property without her consent. On the surface level her first two lines are meant to present herself as a submissive slave. However, Wheatly has a double-edged sword, she says “’Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land; Taught my benighted soul” (Ln. 1-2). In a few words she is thanking the white society for teaching her to think and refers to mercy as something coming from both God and white folk. Yet if this poem was to be written without the social constrains of her time Wheatly would have said “I thank you white peoples for bringing me here, because your God is now my God, the intellect you think is reserved exclusively for your kind is now mine and you may not take it away as much as you beat me.”
Furthermore, within the next three lines she sta...

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...stand up for the cause? His answer is simple: all peoples in all corners of the United States will hear the song of liberty and equality.
Wheatley and Horton worked to express their resistance to the oppressive inequalities during and after slavery. Wheatley denounces the white Christian hypocrisy. Though she does this in a covert way she claims the slave’s right to be free through the faith in God. In the same manner, Horton reveals the part of the slave agony. The black folk and the nation itself are in a determinant position. The nation has the duty to end slavery in practice and in principle and the slave has the duty of moving forward despite the injustice. Horton’s poem gives voice to the hope stilled in many new free blacks, but also denounces the effects of slavery. Both authors denote the way the slave’s character resisted bondage despite its consequences.

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