Anne Bradstreet: Poems
Anne Bradstreet and Struggles to Conform
Anne Dudley Bradstreet was America's first published poet. Cotton Mather described her as: "a gentlewoman whose extraction and estate were considerable." She was an intelligent, well-educated poet, wife, and mother, who contradicted almost all of the stereotypes about stiff, cold Puritans. She used her talents to promote women's rights, to describe life as a Puritan woman in colonial America, and to let her husband and children know how much she loved them. Some historians have said that Anne described her own work as lowly, meanly clad, poor, ragged, foolish, broken, and blemished to appease critical males. It was the support of her family and friends who encouraged her to continue the struggle despite incredible societal pressure and rigorous odds.
Her poems dealt with the hardships of life in the early settlements, the Puritan religion, and in subtle ways, the role of women in those times. Because she was a woman, her work was strongly criticized, and some believed that she stole the ideas for her writing from men. In her earlier works, Bradstreet wrote in the style of male authors that she admired. She was careful about expressing her true feelings, and this limited her abilities. She wrote for her own...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 754 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4836 literature essays, 1500 sample college application essays, 189 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in