Analysis Of Anne Bradstreet 's Poetry Essay

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As a devoutly religious wife and mother, much of Anne Bradstreet’s poetry appears to be quite conventional. The themes of her poetry range from religious matters to musings on motherhood to love letters to her husband, which correspond with the social and cultural expectations for a woman in her time. However, there are moments in her poetry in which she argues in defence of women, and appears to seek some recognition for her work which is a far less traditional stance. While Bradstreet’s poetry in many ways appears to be quite complicit with the gender roles and social expectations of the period it is reductive to say that she bows to social and cultural norms completely as some of her poetry directly challenges these oppressive ideas. Her writing is indicative of a conflict within Bradstreet between the patriarchy based Puritan society in which she lives and her identity as a woman. Bradstreet’s role as a wife is complicit with the societal and cultural expectations for a woman of the time but contributes to this inner conflict as it is in part consuming in that it strips her of her individual identity, but she also does not let her status as a wife stop her from writing. In Bradstreet’s poem “To My Dear and Loving Husband” she describes their marriage by saying that “if ever two were one, then surely we” (1). Using the traditional religious notion of two becoming one to express her love for her husband, while quite complicit with the ideals of the time, is also
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