Anne Bradstreet Essay Research Paper Anne Bradstreet

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Anne Bradstreet Essay, Research Paper Anne Bradstreet was a woman in conflict. She was a Puritan wife and a poet. There is a conflict between Puritan theology and her own personal feelings on life. Many of her poems reveal her eternal conflict regarding her emotions and the beliefs of her religion. The two often stood in direct opposition to each other. Her Puritan faith demanded that she seek salvation and the promises of Heaven. However, Bradstreet felt more strongly about her life on Earth. She was very . She was very attached to her family and community. Bradstreet loved her life and the Earth. There are several poems of Bradstreet that demonstrate this conflict. There is ?Upon the Burning of Our House July 10th, 1666? and the ones written on the deaths of her

grandchildren. These are both examples of her feelings about life on Earth and her religious beliefs. In the critical essay of Robert D. Richardson Jr., he examines the poem ?Upon the Burning of Our House? from a conventional Puritan point of view, ?an exercise in finding the hand of God behind every apparent disaster. Yet, the poem moves back and forth from the human level to the divine, and it is not impossible to argue that the human level ? fear of fire, the sense of loss is what genuinely moves the poet, while her submission to the will of God is somewhat forced acknowledgment of an arrangement that is not really satisfactory.?(105) And when I could no longer look, I blest his Name that gone and took, That layd my goods now in the dust: Yea so it was, and twas just. It was

his own: It was not mine; Far be it that I should repine. (311) These lines of submission are clipped and measured, grimly singsong: they sound forced when placed alongside the following lines which emphasize personal loss. (Richardson 105) Here stood that Trunk, and there that chest There lay that store I counted best: My pleasant things in ashes lye. Anne uses the proper application, interpreting the event as a warning, and as an injunction to look toward the ?house on high erect.? But the vacillation in the poem suggests that the sense of loss outweighs, at least at times, the potential comfort promised by Puritan theology. (Richardson 106) In the critical essay by Ann Standford, ?Anne Bradstreet Dogmatist and Rebel,? she tells us that Anne Bradstreet ?comforts herself with

good Puritan dogma?. (76) That the burning of the house should not be questioned, but she does question it in the three stanzas where she lovingly goes over the contents of the house ? the questioning being through feeling tone rather than statement. As she passes the ruins she recreates the pleasant things that had been there. Despite the reasonable arguments that her goods belonged to God and whatever God does is just, there is in the poem an undercurrent of regret that the loss is not fully compensated for by the hope of the treasure that lies above. (84) ?Upon the Burning of Our House, July 10th, 1666? is one of Anne Bradstreet?s most effective poems. Part of that effectiveness comes from the poignant tension between her worldly concerns, as represented by her household

furnishings and her spiritual aspirations. As Wendy Martin says ?the poem leaves the reader with painful impression of a woman in her mid-fifties, who having lost her domestic comforts is left to struggle with despair. Although her loss is mitigated by the promise of the greater rewards of heaven, the experience is deeply tragic.? (75) Anne Bradstreet?s feelings about her home represent the most material conflict. When her home burned down she wrote the poem to voice these feelings of hers. She describes the awakening to the ?shrieks of dreadful voice? and going out to watch ?the flame consume? her ?dwelling place?. But she comforts herself with good Puritan dogma. The burning of the house is God?s doing and his doings should not be questioned. In looking over the stanzas where