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Phillis Wheatley, Americanization, the Sublime, and the Romance of America

Phillip M. Richards
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Vol. 27, No. 2, African-American Poetics (Summer 1993), pp. 194-221
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/42946038
Page Count: 28
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Phillis Wheatley, Americanization, the Sublime, and the Romance of America
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Abstract

Phillis Wheatley's poetry of Americanization seeks to appropriate the rhetorical and literary modes of late eighteenth-century Anglo-America. This appropriation was complicated by the social position of religious, literary, and political discourses in what Edward Shils refers to as the center of society. Examining the rhetorical strategies by which Wheatley appropriated the discourses of romance neoclassicism and evangelical Protestantism reveals that Wheatley's rhetoric represented a radical and provocative reading of the cultural mythologies of her period.

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