Using New Historicism
Let's look at the spritual "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot":
Swing low sweet chariot
If you would like to hear an audio version of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," click this link: "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot"
We can use some of the questions New Historicists ask to help us view this from their perspective:
What language/characters/events present in the work reflect the current events of the author’s day?
Does the work's presentation support or condemn the event?
In general then, a New Historicist would then say something along the following about "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot":
Knowing the context of the piece the text takes on a deeper meaning than just a song about a chariot. Understanding the context of slavery lets us place the song in that same context, slavery, and knowing that the author is a slave, we can understand the piece to reflect how the system of the Underground Railroad would be viewed in a positive light by slaves.
Liberty Letters http://www.libertyletters.com/resour...et-chariot.php 24 August 2012