Phyllis Wheatley


Televangelists like Jimmy Swaggert and Jim and Tammy Fay Bakker promise the Christian faith to
millions everyday. For the right price, anybody can have something- a.k.a. Christianity, God, and
faith- in their lives. On these shows, there is no need to have believed in religion before, as long
as there is a need for it now.
Religious telecasts asking for money in exchange for faith attract nearly five million people
each year. Fifty-five percent of these people are elderly woman; Thirty-five percent are from the
desperation pool, the poorest and neediest members of society; The remaining ten percent are
those who might be classified as upper-middle class, who want spiritual ...

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to find freedom in
knowing that their lives are less empty and without direction.
It may seem that we can hardly relate the televangelist audience of the 20th Century to
poetic views on Christianity of the 18th Century, but surprisingly, there lies many similarities
between the two.. Both Anne Bradstreet and Phyllis Wheatley appeal to Christianity after their
own personal tragedies. These women, like the many viewers who watch Church-TV everyday, have
lost everything and are left with nothing. In an attempt to fill the void in their lives, left by
Bradstreet’s burnt house and Wheatley’s treatment as a slave, they turn to the Christian faith that at
times seems as empty as the faith that can be commercialized and sold by dramatists on television.
In analyzing “Here Follows Some Verses Upon the Burning of Our House” and “On Being
Brought from Africa to America,” I will consider Christian faith as means of coping with nothingness,
rather than a pious way of life. ...

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from her own people., leaving her with nothing, when she is
nothing to anyone.
Anne Bradstreet encounters Christianity after the burning of her house in July 1666. Within
the body of the poem, she specifically sites material possessions that she has lost: “the trunk,”
“that chest,” “thy table,” and the “candle.” The loss of material goods appears to be a way in
which Bradstreet measured the tragedy of the fire, since she made no reference to anything else,
such as the value of her family or the importance of her memories. In comparison, though Wheatley
has no material belongings, both women share a sense of emptiness caused by loss of all that they
have. Because Bradstreet ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 3/1/2005 03:22:54 AM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1392
Pages: 6

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