Anne Bradstreet: Poems

Role of women

Marriage played a large role in the lives of Puritan women. In Bradstreet's poem, "To My Dear And Loving Husband,"[16] she reveals that she is one with her husband. "If ever two were one, then surely we."[16] The Puritans believed that since marriage is ordained by God, then it is a gift from God. She loves her gift so much that through the use of her poetry, she is able to express her love for God's gift to her husband. In another of Bradstreet's works, "Before the Birth of One of Her Children",[17] Bradstreet acknowledges God's gift of marriage. In the lines, "And if I see not half my days that's due, what nature would, God grant to yours, and you;"[17] Bradstreet is saying that if she was to die soon, what would God give her husband. She could be referring to him possibly remarrying after she dies. Another line shows that she believes that it is possible for her husband to remarry. By using the lines, "These O protect from stepdame's injury",[17] Bradstreet is calling for her children to be protected from the abuse of a future step mother. The fact that Bradstreet believes that God will grant her husband with a new wife if she dies shows how much Puritan women believed in marriage and how God provided them with this gift.

Throughout "Letter to Her Husband, Absent upon Public Employment," Bradstreet states how she feels lost when her husband is not around and that life is always better when he is around. In Bradstreet's poems, it can be assumed she truly loved her husband and missed him when he was away from her and the family. Often, when it came to the role women played throughout Puritan society, it can be assumed the women resented the husbands for they were considered more than the women. In this case, Bradstreet does not resent her husband for leaving her with the family and with all of the household needs; she just misses him and wants him back with her.[18][19][20]

The primary roles of women in a Puritan society were to be wives and mothers, and provide the family with their everyday needs. Women were expected to make the clothing for the family, cook the meals, keep the household clean, and teach the children how to live a Puritan lifestyle. All of these tasks alone could keep a woman busy, yet they got it all done, and still would serve their husbands when they arrived home from work. With this being said, Puritan women were hard workers in everything they did, and still managed to keep the household managed for when the husbands arrived home.

Some of Bradstreet's works also show that the role of Puritan woman was for them to take care of their children. Various works of Bradstreet is dedicated to her own children. In works such as "Before the Birth of One of Her Children"[17] and "In Reference to Her Children",[21] Bradstreet shows the love that she has for her children, both unborn and born. In Puritan society, children were also gifts from God, and she loved and cared for all of her children just as she loved and cared for her husband. She always believes they too are bound with her to make "one."

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