Although she willingly joined her family, Bradstreet had reservations about leaving an English estate filled with books and opportunities to forge a new life in a wilderness that lacked adequate food, shelter, and safety.
Born into prosperity in England, Bradstreet left her refined world behind for the raw, untamed New World of the American colonies. Thus, Bradstreet was the product of both the old wealth of English society and the new, strict Puritanism of the American wilderness.
Having lived in two different worlds and experienced two different lifestyles, it is not surprising that Bradstreet was frequently ambivalent and given over to self-conflict. This internal struggle between pride and shame is manifested through an elaborate conceit in which she likens her book to her own child.
Although the poem deals mainly with her writing, as evidenced by the title, she repeatedly speaks directly to her work in apostrophe, as if it were her own son or daughter.
Just as a mother brings a child into being, Bradstreet brought her poems into the world. Bradstreet uses this extended metaphor to emphasize her mixed feelings toward her work, relating the complexity of the creative process and her opinions of it to the well-known chaos and conflict of the parent-child relationship.
She feels abashed that her private works were published without her consent and before she was fully finished editing and correcting them.
Thus, Bradstreet relates the embarrassment she feels due to her as-yet-unperfected work to the shame a parent feels due to a malformed, ill-tempered child. Her imperfect literary creation is paralleled by the figurative creation of an equally imperfect human being.
In this manner, the resentment and humiliation Bradstreet feels due to her flawed literature being exposed to the world is compared with the readily identifiable feelings of resentment and humiliation instilled in parents by their unruly or errant progeny.
In contrast, Bradstreet also uses the metaphor of her poem as her child to express the commitment, pride, and affection that it stirs in her.
She utilizes the universal, instinctive, emotional constant of parental love to characterize the creative process and her feelings toward her creation. However, just as a parent is never wholly satisfied with his or her child and always wants perfection, however unreasonable, Bradstreet strives in vain for unattainable perfection in her poems.
Through her deft use of conceit or extended metaphor, Bradstreet weaves an intricate web of parallels between parent and author and between child and book — both relationships of creator to creation. This metaphor takes the complex but well known dynamic of the mother-child relationship and equates it with the lesser known bond between an author and her writing, thereby attaching a human face to the otherwise esoteric creative process of generating poetry.Anne Bradstreet's Puritan life was the strongest, and the most obvious influence on her work.
Whether it was her reason for writing, how she wrote, or what she wrote about, Bradstreet's poems would reflect the influence of Puritan life and doctrine. Anne Bradstreet's "The Prologue" depicts Bradstreet's opinion on the role women played in a male-ridden society during the seventeenth century and reveals her feelings about being one of the first female writers during a time where they were scarce.
Anne Bradstreet (c. ). Anne Dudley was born in North Hampton, England in Her father was a steward for the Earl of Lincoln. She was well-educated for a woman of her time and studied history, literature, and languages. Outline of American Literature. Like Anne Bradstreet, and, in fact, all of New England's first writers, the intense, brilliant poet ..
importance in the United States, Phillis Wheatley was born in Africa and brought to Boston, .. (Germany), W.E.B. Du Bois authored "Of Mr.
Dec 22, · Published in , “The Tenth Muse, Lately Sprung Up in America, By a Gentlewoman in those parts” was a book of poetry written by Anne Bradstreet that was printed through the agency of her brother-in-law without much of her knowledge or permission.
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Mistress Bradstreet: the untold life of America's first poet. [Charlotte Gordon] -- This [book offers] the gripping story of a woman and poet of great feeling struggling to find a language to describe the country in which she finds herself. It also offers a rich and complex portrait.