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An Examination of the Poetry of Anne Bradstreet

Prologue Summary
-Anne is humble, believing that she isn’t good as men, but believes women still deserve a chance

How does Bradstreet view herself in comparison to other poets or writers of the time?
-She doesn’t believe she is as talented as other people of her time

What is Bradstreet’s concept of Art?
-Art is inspiring for others but she isn’t inspired by it
-She doesn’t know how to put it in her own words

What is her attitude towards females and males?
She believes males don’t give women enough credit, but still admits that men are better, but women still deserve credit and creativity

What is the tone of this work?
-Humble
-Self-deprecating
-Pleating (don’t take her work seriously)

The Flesh and the Spirit summary
-Dialogue of an argument between Flesh & Spirit. Flesh argues for material world, while Spirit argues for religious lifestyle for the afterlife

What question does Bradstreet pose to her audience in the first section of this poem?
Why do you live how you do?

What references are made to the Puritan tenets?
-Adam and God fathers (Flesh is from Adam and Spirit is from God)
“City Upon A Hill”

Who wins the debate? Why?
Spirit, because the Heavenly world will be there even after they die

The Author to Her Book summary
Anne’s friends published her work without her knowledge and she wanted to make them perfect before publishing it.

What is Bradstreet’s reaction to the publication of her poems?Why?
She doesn’t think that her work is good enough to be published because she’s a female in an androcentric society, so she thinks she is inferior.

Describe the tone of this poem.
-Embarrassment because she wanted to make her poems perfect and she knew she’d face harsh criticism by males

To My Dear and Loving Husband summary
Anne’s love for her husband and between them both

What details show the intensity of their mutual love?
1. She prizes him more than mines of gold and Earth’s riches
2. All rivers can’t quench her love – she still needs his love more than anything
3. Hopes they’ll have their love even in heaven

Puritan references?
-Heaven’s reward
-They’ll live forever (afterlife)

Upon the Burning of Our House, July 10th, 1666 Summary
House burns down but she knows she’s okay because God is in control

What things does Bradstreet remind herself not to have too much affection for earthly things?
1. she has a treasure —> Heaven!
2. she has all the important things in her life already

What is “a house high?”
Heaven!

How does her awareness of this “house” help console her for her loss of her first home?
Because she knows that something better is awaiting her

How does Bradstreet contribute to her time period?
She shows the ethos of the society

What are the two important facts that you must know about her?
1. First published poet in America
2. Named book “The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America”

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