Literary Elements in “The Flesh and the Spirit”
The struggle between “good” and “bad” is a conflict in which the human race faces. For puritans, the common substance is only a shadow and immediate, while everything in the Heavens is interminable. Puritans weigh on self-control and thoughtfulness to keep their hearts clean so that after their passing they can enter Heaven and be eternal. The battle between the common substance and religious confidence is regularly so warmed that one can not generally settle on an unmistakable choice. Anne Bradstreet, the author of the poem “The Flesh and the Spirit” was a puritan woman who lived in the 1600’s. Anne Bradstreet uses voice, imagery, and metaphor to show her inner clash between the humanly …show more content…
The sister who is named Flesh tries to disclose to her sister Spirit that the world is filled with is filled with things to keep them satisfied. Bradstreet directly says the earth is brimming with “wealth” and “vanity”. Riches is by all accounts the principle objective of the primary sister, not minding potentially how she comes into this riches, however she is set in her view. Yet, Spirit has diverse points in life. Bradstreet states that Spirits thoughts are elsewhere in a “higher sphere”. Through Bradstreet’s voice it shows she was a sincerely in order individual, and knew how to express her sentiments obviously, or unmistakably in the dialect of that time. Bradstreet moves from a moderate voice to a more convincing, aggressive and confident voice. The poet is trying to bring some seriousness in to draw the reader and keep their attention. She does this in the following stanza: Dost dream of things beyond the Moon
And dost thou hope to dwell there soon?
Hast treasures there laid up in store
That all in th’ world thou count’st but poor?
Art fancy-sick or turn’d a Sot
To catch at shadows which are not? (15-20)
In these lines, Bradstreet is discussing the discourse between the sisters. Spirit tries to
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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 she
The dichotomy between a Puritan and a Rationalist seems to be very apparent. Despite the differences, the very existence of these two writers showcases the need for dissent to influence, and to always question the status-quo. Anne Bradstreet and Benjamin Franklin give a glimpse of the time period during the creation of their works. Many factors affect their writing: gender and the reason for writing, references to non-Biblical scriptures, and the presence of God.
During the 1630’s, there was a group known as, the Puritans. The Puritans immigrated from England to America, for the sole purpose of religious freedom and their belief that the church of England needed reform. Puritan author’s, Anne Bradstreet and Jonathan Edwards, conveyed their messages and beliefs in their writing . For these two authors, they were working around the same foundation, Puritanism, for the intended messages. Admittedly, there is a disconnection in belief between the two. Edward’s writings take Puritanism to the extreme whilst Bradstreet’s works show a more traditional view in the religion while staying true to it.
Anne Bradstreet and Edward Taylor are two poets who are puritans. They are able to use writing and language to portray their ideas on G-d and religion. Upon the Burning of Our House, July 10th, 1666 by Bradstreet and Huswifery by Taylor are similar in the sense that G-d is always a part of their poems, whether it’s direct or through the use of complex writing. Through the use of language and metaphors, Bradstreet conveys that a connection with G-d could be strengthened through destruction while Taylor reveals that a connection can be reinforced through creation.
The opening lines of the poem show how strong her feelings are for her husband. Bradstreet shows this by the use of a great example of a paradox, “if two were one, then surely we.” This shows that the magnitude of her love and affection is so deep that she’s comparing two beings as one. She praises her love for her husband so much
Anne Bradstreet was not only the first English-speaking, North American poet, but she was also the first American, woman poet to have her works published. In 1650, without her knowledge, Bradstreet’s brother-in-law had many of her poems published in a collection called The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up In America. Although these poems did not reflect what would be her best work, they did emulate what would be the greatest influence on all of her writing. Anne Bradstreet’s Puritan life was the strongest, and the most obvious influence on her work. Whether it was her reason for writing, how she wrote, or what she wrote about, Bradstreet’s poems would reflect the influence of Puritan life and doctrine.
In the 1600’s the Puritans were the main religious group of that time period and they had very strong ideals on how religion and government should go together. Jonathan Edwards, who shared many of their ideals, preached a sermon called, “ Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” and it had a very big impact on the congregation. Nathaniel Hawthorne, although he was a writer in the 1800’s, he was fascinated with the Puritans and their lifestyles and wrote a short story called, “ The Minister’s Black Veil.” Both authors use specific details, tone, and imagery to convey their meaning and style, Edwards harsh and accusatory style was more effective than Hawthorne’s melancholy and mysterious style because Edwards helps the reader understand the effects sin can have in one’s life.
These material items have become physical representations of the memories Bradstreet created with them so the loss is a tragic psychological event. This quote also represents the struggles that the author had with the non-materialistic Puritan lifestyle. She has put so much emphases on her material possession that she has lost sight of what is truly important, which is God. The content expressed in this poem mirrors the materialistic struggles most Puritans felt with their faith at one point or another.
The first difference which is the most obvious would be the style of each respected poet. Every poet has a unique style, but generally those who belong to the same period or set of ideas have similar styles. Between Bradstreet and Taylor there are no similarities in style. Taylor can be considered a much more polished poet. Taylor’s poetry is full of poetic techniques and advanced styling tools such as the iambic meter and advanced rhyming schemes. This style can be seen as the norm for a highly educated preacher which Taylor was. Bradstreet on the other hand has a more simplistic style that can be seen as the voice of the common or average Puritan. Therefore, there is far less ornamentation in her poetry. If one compares the Bradstreet’s “Here Follows Some Verses Upon the Burning of Our House, July 10th, 1666.” and Taylor’s “ From God’s Determinations.” One can see the difference in syntax clearly. Bradstreet uses simple diction while tackling the topic of her burning house. She uses simple and
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “Young Goodman Brown,” tells the tale of a man whose Puritan beliefs were shaken to the core because reality turned out to be much different than he was taught in catechism. Goodman Brown showed readers how much he believed in his family’s goodness when he claimed “We have been a race of honest men and good Christians… We are a people of prayer, and good works, to boot, and abide no such wickedness” (Hawthorne 247). Because of this, Brown is surprised when he comes to know that people he thought were holy were in fact advocates for the devil and sinners- especially his wife Faith. People that he held in the highest regard were nothing but the lowest of the low to him now. He becomes surly, loses all faith in humanity, and develops a bitter worldview after this revelation.
Over and over again she expresses her adoration for him with imagery. "I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold, Or all the riches that the east doth hold. My love is such that rivers can not quench,..." (5-7). Bradstreet is declaring there is nothing as powerful as the love she shares with her husband
The strictness of Puritan society makes an image of purity (especially for those in positions of authority) necessary for its citizens to be acceptable and to rise through the Puritan social strata, and it is this need for an image of purity that undoes Goodman Brown’s initiation from a spiritually immature, idealistic faith to a spiritually mature faith.
In all of Bradstreet’s works she is constantly expressing herself through her figurative language that whoever reads the poetry
Anne Bradstreet, as a poet, wrote as both a Puritan woman in her time and as a woman ahead of her time. Zach Hutchins analyzed this tension in “The Wisdom of Anne Bradstreet: Eschewing Eve and Emulating Elizabeth”, and makes a primary argument that three of Bradstreet’s poems provide evidence that Bradstreet rejects the Puritan views of a woman while keeping her own personal faith. Hutchins fither his argument by declaring that readers should not view Bradstreet as a symbol of rebellion or submission, instead as a symbol of wisdom.
In the 1600’s, Puritans living in both England and New England held their views on God rather tightly and lived their lives as good Christians. Puritans were selfless individuals who had escaped and came to America in search of religious freedom and peace. In literature during that time period, it is made very clear that everything the Puritans had accomplished or acquired was a result of God, and that they were forever in his debt. One of the great poets from this time era was Anne Bradstreet who wrote about her children, husband, and parents. Anne Bradstreet blended her domestic life with theological imagery in every poem she did, explaining that her grandchildren were merely lent to her but