Essay on How Does Anne Bradstreet 's Poetry Reflect Puritan Thinking?

Essay on How Does Anne Bradstreet 's Poetry Reflect Puritan Thinking?

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1. To what extent does Anne Bradstreet’s poetry reflect Puritan thinking?

Marriages in Puritan society were based on the biblical scripture; ‘wives submit to your husbands’ , with the sincere belief that women were to subject to the husbands and support their needs before their own. ‘My Dear and Loving Husband’ captures Bradstreet’s relationship with her husband as it is plain and simple. Typical of a Puritan marriage, Bradstreet submits to her husband and shows her duty in loving him. ‘If ever man were loved by wife’ then wife is never loved by man but endures to find happiness in submitting to her husband. Bradstreet is setting her own desires aside and replaces them with her responsibilities to her husband; that ‘man were loved by wife’. A Puritan wife was expected to see her husband as ‘her lord’ and was expected to ‘subject to him’ . Bradstreet ‘subjects’ to her husband by making him the centre of her poetry, and thus portraying him as ‘her lord’. The notion of ‘subject’ is that Bradstreet’s main responsibility is her husband and her focus in life should be his happiness. Her writing portrays a relationship that is dedicated to her husband suggesting that she is following what is expected from her as a wife. Arguably, by simply expressing her affections for her husband in her poetry, Bradstreet is defying the expectation that a good Puritan wives’ world should revolve around her husband as she would not have time for luxuries such as writing poetry. However, ‘William Gouge and John Dod advised husbands to trust their wives so that they might benefit from their wives’ talents’. Thus, Bradstreet is simply using her talents and through them, is celebrating her marriage with her husband and using themselves an example of a good...


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...ccurrence in the world and thus is a concept that cannot be escaped. However, although Bradstreet discusses the natural cyclicity of nature, the use of nature that has ‘grown’ or is ‘thoroughly ripe’ suggests a natural ending to the cycle. The death of her Grandchild ‘Being a Year and a Half Old’ would be considered early and before her time and thus not fully ‘grown’. The consistent reference to a full cycle shows the struggle that Bradstreet is going through trying to come to terms with the death of a child. She ultimately submits to the notion that it ‘is His hand alone’ that determines life and death but Bradstreet struggles to come to terms with the death of Elizabeth Bradstreet.
Similarly, in ‘Here Follows Some Verses upon the Burning of Our House, July 10th 1666’ the struggle Bradstreet encounters between her belief and her own emotional reaction is evident.

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