What are the themes of "Bury Me in a Free Land" by Frances E.W. Harper?

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The themes of "Bury me in a Free Land" by Francis E. W. Watkins Harper circle around the speaker's desire to be unassociated with any country where slavery is practiced. The speaker says she would rather be buried in "a lowly plain" among "earth's humblest graves" than laid to rest in a land where people are enslaved. A grave is a memorial where people can come to honor the beloved dead. Typically, people wish for a grave in a beautiful, well-kept spot with flourishing nature all around, and a nice headstone to show the deceased were worthy of some honor and care in life as well as death. To chose a location where the land is not alive and the grave itself is humble shows just how degrading the author views slavery to be.

The degradation of slaves is one theme in the poem. For example stanza five shows a devaluing of a slave in comparing one to a mere animal for slaughter. The poet says, "I'd shudder and start if I heard the bay / of bloodhounds seizing their human prey." This image,...

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