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Published: 04-10-2019

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The analysis of Anne Bradstreet’s Literary Work

In “Here Follows Some Verses upon the Burning of Our Home, July 10th, 1666” Anne Bradstreet delves into the subject of a tragic fire in her property. In the poem, her residence is represented as a keepsake for all of her memories made within it and now the fire has seemingly turned it all to ash. She expresses her ambivalence in between her devastation and her Puritan beliefs by displaying both initial sorrow and eventual acceptance. Different elements of this poem are employed to show Bradstreet’s momentary quivering faith in her providential beliefs. The poem’s altering mood, handful of situations of enjambment, shifts in tone of diction, and use of rhetorical devices express the theme of acceptance.

The content material of this poem is focused about the despair and damage triggered by the fire in Bradstreet’s home. The author is awoken by loud noises and voices, which alert her to the calamity happening around her. The very first half of the poem explores the damage triggered by the fire and all the tangible items the author has lost. Even so, due to Bradstreet’s Puritan beliefs, the poem shifts into a a lot more providential theme as opposed to the theme of loss shown in the beginning. She believes that the fire, the loss of her property and all the memories made inside it, is done by God’s divine intervention and has objective. The transition in between her mourning of her loss and then her acceptance due to her providential beliefs is clearly shown in the poem. This is particularly displayed in lines 14-17 where Bradstreet writes: I blest His name that gave and took, That laid my goods now in the dust. Yea, so it was, and so ‘twas just, It was his personal, it was not mine This excerpt from the poem shows the acceptance Bradstreet holds for the fire since of her providential beliefs that every little thing is predestined. The poem is written in iambic tetrameter and consists of only rhyming couplets. The majority of the poem is written with enjambment and this causes the sequence of the fire and the destruction to appear more chaotic and despairing. The enjambment amongst lines three-four: “I wakened was with thund’ring noise/ And piteous shrieks of dreadful voice,” creates a faster paced rhythm in the poem, emulating the fast pace of the fire.

All through the poem, Bradstreet seems to be much more reconciled toward the fire when she reminds herself that it is because of God’s performing and it has happened for a cause. Of course, it can't be anticipated that Bradstreet is utterly accepting of the fact that her property and all of her dearest belongings have been turned to ash. This uncertainty of faith is shown via her difference in language from the starting to the end of the poem. The mood of the poem seems to swiftly switch from despair to acceptance as she trusts her faith in her Puritan beliefs. This alter in mood is shown through Bradstreet’s option of emotional diction. The beginning of the poem is laced with deeply damaging diction such as “sorrow,” (line 2) “piteous,” (line four) and “succourless” (line 10). The tone of the poem adjustments significantly when her providential belief is pointed out. The author uses much more constructive diction such as “mighty Architect,” (line 44) “glory richly furnished,” (line 45) “hope and treasure,” (line 54). The language employed and the mood of the poem are quite closely associated in this instance.

The meaning of the poem is largely impacted by Bradstreet’s use of metaphors and similes. One particular extended metaphor in particular, in lines 49-51, enforces the author’s Puritan worldview as well as the theme of the poem. The metaphor is in reference to Bradstreet’s faith that although her residence on earth has been destroyed, God has an even lovelier property waiting for her in heaven. Bradstreet expresses this belief in the lines: “A price tag so vast as is unknown,/ But by His present is created thine own/ There’s wealth sufficient, I want no far more,” (lines 49-51). The author creates an extended metaphor of a “…house on higher erect/ Frameed by that mighty Architect,” (lines 43-44) which represents the residence in heaven designed by God. It is in this way Bradstreet is saying that although she is in despair over her loss, she knows that it is all in God’s predestined strategy. This is tough to totally think, nevertheless, because Bradstreet does remark on the memories that can no longer be created in this residence and the memories she is leaving behind in the lines: “Under thy roof no guest shall sit,/ Nor at thy Table eat a bit.” (lines 29-30). These lines show that even though she has accepted the tragedy as providential, it is nonetheless a great loss of each the tangible and intangible parts of her life.

“Here Follows Some Verses upon the Burning of our Residence, July 10th, 1666,” shows the muddled tension in between organic emotions and the theology of the Puritans. The fire in Anne Bradstreet’s residence causes her to really feel conflict between her standard human emotion and what her Puritan theology tells her she ought to really feel. This is expressed throughout the poem with selectively ambivalent diction, extended metaphors, and two conflicting moods of despair and acceptance. The fire is basically a spark to her uncertain faithfulness toward the Puritan beliefs of providence, resulting in her conflicting tones inside the poem. The poem ends with Bradstreet accepting her loss and remaining loyal to her Puritan beliefs, in spite of her loss of everything else.
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