According to the passage, the standards of eighteenth–century English poetry permitted Wheatley to include which one ...

Adrian on March 24, 2020


Hello! Can someone provide an explanation for this question?

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on March 24, 2020

Hello @awpschmitt,

For some reason I am not able to see the question that you are asking about. Will you respond and direct us to the prep test or homework where you found it? Then we will be happy to help you out. Sorry for the inconvenience, must be some kind of glitch.


Skylar on March 27, 2020

@awpschmitt, happy to help!

We are asked to identify what the standards of 18th century English poetry permitted Wheatley to include in her poetry.

Lines 31-35 tell us that "the standards of eighteenth-century English poetry, which itself reflected little of the American language, led Wheatley to develop a notion of poetry as a closed system" This sets up our framework.

Lines 36-39 state, "No place existed for the rough- and- ready Americanized English she heard in the streets, for the English spoken by Black people, or for Africanisms." This sentence allows us to eliminate (B) "Americanized English" and (E) "Black speech."

Lines 39-40 state, "The conventions of eighteenth-century neoclassical poetry ruled out casual talk...." This allows us to rule out (D) "casual talk."

Lines 40-43 state, "her voice and feelings had to be generalized according to rules of poetic diction and characterization." This gives us the explicit evidence we need to select (A) "generalized feelings" as our correct answer.

(C) "themes from folk art" does not have enough support to be the correct answer. The only time that folk art is mentioned is in line 16 as part of the African oral tradition. This does not seem to be supported by the conventional standards of eighteenth-century poetry and is vague in relation to the question. Therefore, we can also eliminate (C).

Does that make sense? Please let us know if you have any other questions!