Sarah Jewett vs. Wheatley

What's the Difference?

Sarah Jewett and Wheatley were both influential female writers in their respective time periods. Jewett, a 19th-century American writer, is known for her regionalist fiction that focused on the lives of women in rural New England. Wheatley, an 18th-century African American poet, was the first published African American female poet and her work often addressed themes of race, religion, and freedom. While Jewett's writing focused on the everyday lives of women in a specific region, Wheatley's poetry was more political and addressed larger societal issues. Despite their differences in style and subject matter, both women broke barriers in their respective fields and paved the way for future generations of female writers.


AttributeSarah JewettWheatley
Time Period19th century18th century
ThemesRural life, natureReligion, freedom

Further Detail


Sarah Orne Jewett and Phillis Wheatley were both influential female writers in American literature, albeit in different time periods. Jewett, born in 1849, was known for her regionalist writing that focused on the lives of New Englanders. Wheatley, on the other hand, was born in 1753 and was the first African American woman to publish a book of poetry in the United States. Despite their differences in background and time period, both writers made significant contributions to American literature.

Writing Style

Sarah Jewett's writing style is often described as lyrical and descriptive. She had a keen eye for detail and was able to vividly capture the landscapes and characters of New England in her works. Jewett's prose is often praised for its simplicity and elegance, as she was able to convey complex emotions and themes through her straightforward language. In contrast, Phillis Wheatley's writing style is more formal and structured. As a poet, Wheatley adhered to traditional poetic forms and often used classical allusions in her work. Her poems are characterized by their elegance and sophistication, reflecting her classical education and literary influences.


Both Sarah Jewett and Phillis Wheatley explored themes of identity, nature, and social issues in their writing. Jewett's works often focused on the lives of ordinary people in rural New England, highlighting the beauty of nature and the importance of community. Her stories often revolved around themes of friendship, family, and the passage of time. Wheatley, on the other hand, addressed themes of race, religion, and freedom in her poetry. As an enslaved African American woman, Wheatley's work often grappled with issues of identity and the struggle for freedom and equality.


Despite facing different challenges and obstacles in their lives, both Sarah Jewett and Phillis Wheatley left a lasting impact on American literature. Jewett's regionalist writing helped to shape the American literary landscape and influenced later writers such as Willa Cather and Eudora Welty. Her focus on the lives of ordinary people and the beauty of nature resonated with readers and critics alike. Wheatley, on the other hand, paved the way for future African American writers and poets. Her publication of "Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral" in 1773 was a groundbreaking achievement that challenged prevailing notions of race and gender.


Today, both Sarah Jewett and Phillis Wheatley are remembered for their contributions to American literature and their pioneering spirit. Jewett's stories continue to be read and studied for their insights into New England life and culture. Her emphasis on the importance of community and connection to nature remains relevant in today's world. Wheatley's poetry, on the other hand, is celebrated for its eloquence and depth. Her exploration of themes of race and identity continue to resonate with readers and scholars, making her a key figure in African American literary history.

Comparisons may contain inaccurate information about people, places, or facts. Please report any issues.