What is the theme and meter of "On being brought from Africa to America"?

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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In the poem "On Being Brought from Africa to America," Wheatley is stating that she has been redeemed. She has been enlightened as to God's redemptive plan. She states that her soul now understands God as Saviour...Wheatley shares that her "sable" or black race can be refined and united with God just like the white man...

Amazingly, she was not seeking God but as mercy would have it, he found her and now she is understanding of God and his redemptive plan...

Wheatly clearly understands there are people who scorn her race and she writes to give them an understanding that white men are not the only ones who can experience God and His redemptive plan. she speaks to the white Christians:

'Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land,
Taught my benighted soul to understand
That there's a God, that there's a Saviour too:
Once I redemption neither sought nor knew.
Some view our sable race with scornful eye,
"Their colour is a diabolic die."
Remember, ChristiansNegros, black as Cain,
May be refin'd, and join th' angelic train.
The rhyme scheme is aabb...she writes in heroic couplets throughout the poem...the theme is physical and spiritual rescue by God...the tone is serious and meditative...the point of view is first person meditation...Wheatley uses subtle irony in that she writes to make her white readers feel good yet perceive how wrong they are for thinking only white people can be Christians...

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