1 Answer | Add Yours
Certainly the idea that American liberty is divinely-ordained is a major theme for Wheatley's poem. Washington is portrayed as the type of virtuous leader that could only have been chosen by God to lead the country to freedom. However, she only mentions the role of divine Providence in the revolution once in the poem. In a line that may strike some modern readers as ironic (given that Wheatley was African-American) she describes the new nation as the "land of freedom's heaven-defended race." There are, to be sure, other divine references, such as the first line of the poem: "Celestial choir! enthron'd in realms of light"; her persistent personification of liberty and America in the form of a goddess Columbia; and the lines that end the first stanza describing "heaven's revolving light" piercing through "sorrows and veil of night." But it her evocation of a "heaven-defended race" that most clearly makes the claim for Americans as a divinely chosen people.
We’ve answered 319,850 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question