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Four Words

posted Jan 18, 2011 16:02:27 by Dekeyser15
The four words that I believe affect the overall meaning of the poem are benighted, redemption, scornful, and diabolic. The word benighted means to be intellectually or morally ignorant. This automatically makes me think about how the slaves were treated and how they were viewed. Then when I see the word redemption it tells me that she was angry at whoever it was that took her and brought her to America. The word scornful also makes me think about how the slaves were looked down upon. Then the word diabolic comes in which means having the qualities of a devil. The color of their skin was being referred to as a diabolic die or being like the devil's. You can definitely tell that the author used these words to show how hard it was for them and how they were treated.
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3 replies
Seancorc said Jan 18, 2011 16:24:04
Oh, I slightly disagree. While slavery was definitely something terrible, I don't think the writer saw it this way. She uses the word "benighted" to refer to herself, before becoming a slave - she saw herself as ignorant, until she was "redeemed" by her captors by being taught of God, it seems. She does note that some view her race with a "scornful eye," but the overall tone is strangely appreciative and grateful for having a God and savior, which she attributes to being taken into slavery: "'Twas mercy brought me form my Pagan land" (1).
jgcabs said Jan 18, 2011 16:42:01
Sean, I agree with you. When I read the poem I got a feeling of optimism, that life is better now. It seems that being taken from her native land gave Wheatley an opportunity she wouldnt have gotten in her home land, religious freedom. Now, as a slave Wheatley has found a higher power, her savior, her God and she seems ecstatic about it. Wheatley appreciates her new opportunity and makes the best of her situation and nowhere in the poem did I sense Wheatley feeling sorry for herself.
ghostwriter500 said Jan 20, 2011 16:55:35
I agree with seancorc also, i think that the poem is positive. I think the author is looking at her opportunity to write as a second chance from God. Her situation could be a hundred times worse and she is thankful that she found mercy.
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