Freneau, “the Indian Burying Grount”
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The imitative and descriptive poem, “The Indian Burying-Ground”, is a romantic analysis of a different culture.  Phillip Freneau injects his opinion though out the poem by his descriptive and adroit stanzas stating that the Indian culture is one of mystery and should be appreciated.  The use of comparison of two drastically different ideas of life after death aligns the Poet’s view with the Indian’s culture.         In the first Stanza Freneau states, “In spite of all the learned have said” (1).  The use of “in spite”, shows his opposition to what most believe.  As the stanza continues Freneau describes the Christian way of positioning the dead presents the belief of “eternal Sleep”, which contrast the Indian’s portrayal of life after death.  “Again is seated with his friends/ and shares again the joyous feast” (7-8), Freneau limns the Indian’s entering into “joyous” activity after their death by his imaginative depiction of the soul’s activity.  Freneau continues to praise the Indian culture by further fanciful description of the Indians procedure.  Using the description of items or paintings left with the dead, “imaged bird, and painted bowl” (9), or “his bow, for action ready bent.” (13)   Freneau details the identity of the dead with this and continues to illustrate that even if the body has expired the soul is ongoing.  This is completed with the lines, “activity, that know no rest” (12) and “can only mean that life is spent/ and not the finer essence gone” (15-16).

Use of the words describing the Indians and their actions such as “ruder race”, and “savage” gives ownership of the culture to the Indians.  He goes on to say, “Thou, stranger, that shalt come this way/ no fraud upon the dead commit” (17-18) and “They do not lie, but here they sit” (19).  This endorses the poet’s positive view toward the culture by describing it as substantially different from accepted Christian practice.  Even though it is different, Freneau conveys a message of acceptance in the last stanza.  “And Reason’s self shall bow the knee/ to shadows and delusions here” (39-40), represents his belief we should give credence to this cultural diversity and not discard it due to false impression.  The romantic poem is one of acceptance characterized by the poets praising of the culture through his perceived depiction of the Indian Burying Ground.  His comparison of the two different cultures, their extravagant view of continues life, and the poet’s declaration of acceptance, not dismissal clearly show his praise of the culture. Works Cited:Freneau, Phillip. “The Indian Burying Ground.” The Little Book of American Poets 1785 – 1900. Ed Jessie B. Rittenhouse. Cambridge: riverside press, 1915.

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Use Of Comparison And Romantic Analysis Of A Different Culture. (April 16, 2021). Retrieved from