Poems‘ToHis Excellency General Washington’by Phillis Wheatley and ‘ToMy Dear and Loving Husband’by Anne Bradstreet help a reader connect with the writings at apersonal level. The analysis of the two poems aims at illustratinghow they observe the reader response theory in terms of connectingwith the reader’s life and experiences.
‘ToHis Excellency General Washington’by Wheatley seemed like just a letter from a concerned citizen to thePresident. When I started reading the poem, I thought I would have nogreat interest in it, but as I continued to read, I found myselfinterested. The poem is a great depiction of the colonists sufferingand their hope. It got me wondering why Wheatley trusted Washington,bearing in mind that he had enslaved many men. Wheatley understoodthat at times, one had to unite with an enemy for a greater cause.The poem reminds me of a day I refused to join school soccer teamsince I had an enmity with the team’s coach, which made me believethe coach was of no help to me. Unlike Wheatley, my pride made memiss a great scholarship opportunity for my failure to play soccer.Wheatley believed in Washington, although he had enslaved manypeople, which made him his enemy. This is evident in the poem wherethe poet writes “Proceed,great chief, with virtue on thy side……Thy ev’ry action let theGoddess guide.”(Wheatley, 2013, p.1)
‘ToMy Dear and Loving Husband’also follows the reader response theory by connecting with thereader’s life and experiences. The title of the poem itself makesone think it is just a letter one is writing to her husband, but asone reads, the poem contains great information. Bradstreet goesdeeper than just writing a love letter. She shows her feelings andthat of her husband. For example, the use of the word "dear"shows she loves her husband. The word "loving" shows thehusband loves his wife (Bradstreet, 2014). This illustrates that inlife, for a marriage to work, lovers has to feel the same way abouteach other.
Columbusand Cabeza de Vaca explored different areas in the world where theyboth experienced many hardships such as loss of resources. From theirnarratives, one learns of their expeditions, which containsimilarities and differences. The essay aims at showing thesimilarities and differences of their findings, including theirrelationship with the Native Americans.
Onesimilarity is that they both explored to understand land features. Indoing so, they interacted with the Native Americans. The nativeswelcomed both Columbus and Nunez warmly, helping them develop acontact with Native Americans, which was a key role for theirexpeditions. This is because Columbus and de Vaca relied on theNative Americans in their search for valuable resources.
Anothercomparison is that Columbus and de Vaca use God when explaining theprofiting by their voyages. For example, Columbus states, “the Lordhas crowned my voyage.” Cabeza de Vaca says’ “the will of Godis what will impact my trip” (Bremer,2014).
Incontrast, Columbus starts by stating his accomplishments such as "youwill learn how in thirty-three days I passed from the Canary Islandsto the Indies" (Bremer,2014). Contrary, de Vaca starts by emphasizing the importance of effort.According to him, "Fortune is brought about not by conduct butby accident." Columbus explored an Island while Alvar Nunezexplored the Texas state lands. Another contrast is that Columbusstarted his expedition with a fleet of people while Alvar Nunezstarted with only three people, who grew to a large number after sometime.
ChristopherColumbus and Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca are great narrators. Theyboth gave the readers clear illustrations of the hardships theyexperienced during their expeditions. Their good narration helpsreaders create a picture of what they faced, making them feel as ifthey are participating in the exploration.
Bradstreet,A. (2014). ToMy Dear and Loving Husband.ProQuest LLC.
Bremer,T. S. (2014). Formedfrom this soil: The diversity of religious life in American history.
Wheatley,P. (2013). To His Excellency General Washington. ThePoems of Phillis Wheatley.