Essay on Word Choice and Tone in Bradstreet's "The Author to Her Book"

Essay on Word Choice and Tone in Bradstreet's "The Author to Her Book"

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After reading "The Author to her Book," it helps to know about the author's background. Anne Bradstreet wrote this poem after she had received her recently published book. The problem was that she did not want her book published. In her eyes, it was unfinished and full of mistakes. In the poem, she treats the book as a child and uses a satirical tone. Her choice of words and tone are very important to the theme of the poem. Some readers, mainly logical, would think that the author is simply talking about a child. The truth is that she is talking about her recently finished book. Bradstreet shows a mixture of emotions toward what just happened.
The poem starts by speaking of a child. An "ill-formed" (1) child is mentioned. This indicates that her book was not fully developed. It was full of mistakes. It was a child "of my feeble brain," (1) meaning she obviously wrote the book herself and she believes her brain was weak. Next, Bradstreet states, "Who after birth did'st by my side remain," (2) meaning that she kept the book after it was finished. Her word choice here shows that she was not very happy with the way her book turned out. She wanted to keep it from the publishers so she could fix it over time. "Till snatched from thence by friends." (3) This statement shows a bit of anger in the tone. Bradstreet uses the word "snatched" (3) to show her slight anger. She knew that her friends had taken her book, but she knew that it was not a good idea. They wanted to do something nice for her, but she was not ready for this step of the book. She expresses this by saying they were "less wise than true." (3) "Exposed to public view" (4) indicates that they had the book published for her. "Where errors were not lessened, all may judge." ...


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...how Bradstreet pictured her book. She saw it as "unfit for light." (9) She did not want it published at this time. The poem, finally, shows Bradstreet's need for perfection. The fact that the publishing of her book bothered her so much proves this. By researching some facts about her, you come to learn that she was indeed a perfectionist. That is why she wrote this poem. Another reason could be to bring leniency on the judging of her book. If those who noticed all of the mistakes, like critics, knew that the book was published against her will, they would be more lenient towards their reviews.



Works Cited

Kennedy, X. J., and Dana Gioia, eds. An Introduction to Poetry. 13th ed. New York: Longman, 2010. 21. Print.
Bradstreet, Anne. "The Author to her Book." An Introduction to Poetry. Ed. X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 13th ed. New York: Longman, 2010. 21. Print.

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