“On Being Brought From Africa to America” by Wheatley

Subject: Literature
Pages: 1
Words: 301
Reading time:
2 min
Study level: College


The poems written by Phillis Wheatley are unique literary works that reflect the life of slaves in the new country. However, the most significant piece seems to be “On Being Brought from Africa to America,” and its selection is conditional upon the fact that it represents the beginning of the author’s experience in this place (Atlas, 2018). From this perspective, it provides opportunities for analyzing the philosophical and religious underpinning of slavery as it was perceived by the affected persons.

Main body

This poem’s main theme is inequality, which, nevertheless, should not be seen as an obstacle on the way to God. In the lines” ‘Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land” and “there’s a God, that there’s a Saviour too,” Wheatley claims the absence of any distinguishing elements in terms of salvation (Atlas, 2018, para. 15). This standpoint shows that the apparent differences in people’s positions in life do not imply that they are applicable to providence. In this way, Wheatley accepts her fate while finding comfort in religion guiding her in all matters. The central place of this field in one’s existence explains the significance of this piece compared to her other works. In this case, it means that individuals’ attitudes are more important than their struggles since they change how they manage to cope with hardships.


To summarize, the selected poem is critical for understanding the living conditions of the author and other enslaved Africans. It presents a clear picture of how philosophical attitudes towards adversities of their labor and the tendency to turn to religion allow accepting their situation. Thus, in this case, significant means explaining the perceptions of slaves and their inner motives, and the piece under consideration confirms the special role of early writings compared to later works for grasping these ideas.


Atlas, N. (2018). 10 poems by Phillis Wheatley from Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral (1773). Literary Ladies Guide. Web.