Anne Bradstreet Analysis

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The Clever and Well Hidden Mind of Anne Bradstreet

During the early 1600's Puritanism ran strong throughout early North America. Anne Bradstreet, the educated and well-to-do daughter of Thomas Dudley, arrived in America during the 1630's. Anne Bradstreet being a firm Puritan believer, abided by the ideas that women were man's subordinate, their help-mates, thus leaving women to be submissive. This led women's ambitions and want for self-fulfillment to be negated by religion. Bradstreet reflected her beliefs through her writing, which, she kept hidden for years until it was stolen and published in England. She hid her words as it was frowned upon during her time for a women to write. Bradstreet, being an intelligent women, covered her words in such a way that one could never condemn her as undermining man, or Puritan belief. Bradstreet used clever images, and a sharp tongue, combined with her talent to blanket them with humility, to cover her tracks. In one such poem "The Prologue", Bradstreet introduces her writing, all the while, making retorts that suggest her intelligence, and prove her worth as a writer, without objectifying her beliefs, or her position as a women during her time.

The first stanza in "The Prologue" is introductory, Bradstreet's first few lines are set down as a kind of safety net for the stanzas to come. She states "To sing of wars, of captains, and of kings/ Of cities founded, commonwealth begun/ For my mean pen are too superior things"(Pg. 147). These lines are meant to show the reader that she knows her place, by saying "For my mean pen are too superior things(Pg. 147)". This meaning that her pen is lowly in comparison, and the words it writes can in no way compare to such great things. She ends this first verse in a manner that expresses her humility, and excuses herself from being frowned upon. "Let poets and historians set these forth/ My obscure lines shall not so dim their worth". This last line keeps Bradstreet safe, in...
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