Anne Bradstreet a Role Model for Puritan Women

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In 1650, Anne Bradstreet started publishing poems which left her to be the first women in British North America to write and publish poetry.. She started writing poems because she wanted to please her father. He wanted her to have a better education than other women. However, that became the start of something that was going to stay in history. She started just to please but eventually it ended up as an inspiration to other women and poets that followed after her. At only sixteen years of age she married her husband, Simon Bradstreet, and raise eight children in Massachusetts. She faced so many challenges because of health conditions that caused her to be fatigue. Another challenge would be that her husband would be out too much leaving her at home while he had trips to England. Bradstreets home got burned consequently she lost some manuscripts in 1666 but that didn’t stopped her from writing more. John Woodbridge, her brother-in-law published them as The Tenth Muse, Lately Sprung in America; therefore she wrote her poem The Author to Her Book, that seemed to be the second edition proposition to this publication (Bradstreet 217-218).

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Anne Bradstreet’s contributions were to portray how women in the Puritan American had no power and were as well discriminated by men in society. Bradstreet in her poem called The Prologue, this poem was written, because she wanted to raise her voice and be heard by men. She knew that by writing poems she was going to be criticized by men, but she wanted to be heard as women and as a poet. The poem has two themes to it the first one is gender, and it is portrayed in one of the lines in her poem that says the following: Who says my hand a needle better fits(Bradstreet 220). Symbolism was used and the word needle means that men did not like the idea for her to write poems, because that should not be her place and instead she should sew clothes. Another line that she illustrates gender Else of our Sex, why feigned they those Calliopes own child (Bradstreet 220). This lines of the poem was to point to point out the fact that Greeks believed that women were the inspiration of art. But how? If women are horrible at it. So how can they be possibly inspire art but not be good at it that, the irony. Furthermore, she also introduces the theme of discrimination based on gender.

The theme of prejudice was mention all through the poem. She targets those that doubt her potential to write poems. She does in a very interesting and gentle tone which makes her brave by making those critiques by men look like fools.The following line from the poem expresses: For such despite they cast on female wits (Bradstreet 220). This line targets those who criticize her and her work. As a matter of fact, she proves those critics wrong by proving that women are also smart and have the capacity to be poets too. If what I do prove well, it wont advance, Theyll say its stoln or else it was by chance (Bradstreet 220). If she dos bad then she gets criticized or if she dos wee; then she plagiarized it. No matter what she does she loses either way because again she is a women. The poem demonstrates how Puritan women were not expected to have a brain or in other words be smart. Especially, not even write and publish well written poems. Moreover, Bradstreet also wrote a poem to her husband called To My Dear and Loving Husband, which is about her expressing her love to him.

She wrote the following line: If ever wife was happy in a man, Compare with me, ye women, if you can (Bradstreet 237). This was to show how lucky she is to have him besides her, and that there is no man that compares to him. That he is so amazing as a husband. Yet, it has a second meaning to it between the lines we could notice that as a Puritan women she knows that men are in control of women. Which means that she wants him to think that he has all the power by saying all those lovely things to him. She volunteers to compliment her husband. Which places the question of who really has the power. Could women have the power in the end? Men want power and when you state that that they do, well agree to it. Which means that women could possibly have the power to make them believe that they do. Although, it was not obvious she was able to use the tone of sarcasm in her poem to make this point across.

Lastly, this poem goes back to those Puritan women that make men believe that they do have the power because that is the only way to get manipulate them, but at the time when it was written it was rare to see due to men having control over women. All things considered, Anne Bradstreet was and is a very great example of women who took a stand to have rights not only as a writer but as a human. She was able to express the themes of gender which led for women to get mistreated. Her poems had a very important role in the Puritan American for women because being one she was able to have a voice for those women that thought that had no say, but eventually Bradstreet spoke for them. Women are also smart and they have power as well, and they could be poets too.

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Anne Bradstreet A Role Model For Puritan Women. (2019, May 14). Retrieved October 6, 2022 , from

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