The Irony in Wheatley’s first published poem, On Messrs. Hussey and Coffin

The author uses Irony to talk of her experience in America she begins by declaring that it was a blessing, a free act of God’s compassion that brought her out of Africa The irony is that it is not mercy that brought her but greed and profit as she came to America as a slave when she says it’s a blessing she is been ironic.

Secondly irony in the poem is when she says she is brought from her Pagan land referring to Africa a place where she has the freedom to be what she wants. She is now in this new land where she converts to be a Christian and her freedom is curtailed as she becomes a slave.

Thirdly irony is that despite her being out of the pagan land into this new place where she learns about God and gets redemption there are still hardships to be endured and the terrible injustices suffered there despite there been a savior.

The Fourth irony is also that there is a need for Africans to be refined and also go to school as they are seen to be inferior beings. This is because after her going to America she joined the school to be educated. She never thought before coming to America she had a problem or needed to be educated in school.

Lastly, she uses irony when she says their diabolic dye to tell them that though they may not believe it or want to help them, the Africans can be cultured and more importantly saved through their acceptance of Christ. This is regardless of the color of the skin of Africans. Wheatley uses irony to point out the hypocrisy of the so-called white Christians who judge and condemn the Africans without any intention of helping them just because they are black.



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