On Being Brought from Africa to America Literary Elements
Updated: 1/15/2021
On Being Brought from Africa to America Literary Elements
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On Being Brought to America from Africa

On Being Brought from Africa to America by Phillis Wheatley

Lesson Plans by Rebecca Ray

In a few short lines, the poem "On Being Brought from Africa to America" juxtaposes religious language with the institution of slavery, to touch on the ideas of equality, salvation, and liberty. Phillis Wheatley uses several literary elements to convey her complex but succinct message to the reader, and understanding those methods is vital to grappling with the poem. This interactive teaching plan will help students further grasp the concepts involved in Wheatley's poetry, examining the themes, symbols, and vocabulary she used.




On Being Brought from Africa to America

Storyboard Description

On Being Brought from Africa to America analysis - Phillis Wheatley Poem

Storyboard Text

  • IAMBIC PENTAMETER
  • HEROIC COUPLET
  • END RHYME
  • PERSONIFICATION
  • "Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land"
  • "Remember, Christians, Negros, black as Cain,May be refin'd, and join th' angelic train."
  • "land” & “understand”“too” & “knew”“eye” & “die"
  • In the poem, Wheatley personifies ‘Mercy’ by saying it brought her to America. This is also a metaphor since mercy could not actually bring her to America, making the statement figurative or m​etaphorical.
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