The Representation Of Puritan Values

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Discuss the representation of Puritan values and beliefs represented in Anne Bradstreet’s poetry Anne Bradstreet’s poem, Upon the Burning of Our House depicts certain aspects of Puritan values and beliefs. The seventeenth century revolved solely around religion and was the age of religious literature, a theme that stands out in Bradstreet’s poetry. Bradstreet was aware of Puritan standards due to her surrounding family; her father being the Massachusetts Bay Company’s deputy governor and husband, chief administer. The elegy shows that it is personal by the word ‘Our’. In using the word the reader immediately assumes that this is her home. The message of this poem is that earthly possessions are only temporary and invaluable, in…show more content…
‘It is his own: it was not mine’ simply suggests that Bradstreet accepts that everything she owns belongs to ‘Him’. The use of the colon may display a separation between her being powerless and God being powerful. Bradstreet expresses that ‘it‘s purchased and paid for too by Him who hath enough to do’ putting across a covenant with God when she reassures herself that there is a place ‘permanent’ in Heaven where all her possessions lie. The lines refer to the Puritan belief that their followers had to earn an eternal life by redemption, seen as a gift given to those predestined to receive it. The punctuation at the end of each line in the poem could represent Bradstreet looking back on the event that happened, with the commas representing a halt in the poem as a thought process. The poem finishes with her reassurance in God that ‘my hope and treasure lies above’ referring to heaven and that God has a permanent home waiting for her above. Despite Bradstreet’s last words, it is suggested that her despair is manifest. Her emotions put across in the poem clearly show her home is important to her, not due to her possessions but it was a symbol of her life with her family, and during Puritanism, a home was known as the ‘seat of her role as a woman’ and family was known as the centre of
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