The Flesh and the Spirit Poem

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In the poem, “The Flesh and the Spirit,” Anne Bradstreet’s diction gives insight to the theme of material possessions and wealth falling inferior to spiritual salvation. In line eight of the poem, Bradstreet refers to the thoughts of the Spirit being on a “higher sphere.” This higher sphere could exemplify heaven. Sphere creates the image of a round object or place, which transforms into a higher level then our sphere of existence, being earth. The Spirit’s thoughts are of salvation above. Next, in line fifty-five of the poem, the “charms,” which Bradstreet refers to are the Spirit’s aversion toward the tendencies of the Flesh to seek comfort and satisfaction in material possessions and wealth. Charms creates the feeling of spells, which are meant to somewhat hypnotize or transform the mind’s way of thinking. Therefore, Bradstreet may be referring to the Flesh working to overpower the Spirit in its introspective priorities. Lastly, in line sixty, in reference to the Spirit’s “ambition lies above.” Ambition in this line exemplifies the passion and drive to achieve salvation in the kingdom of heaven. Ambition leaves a feeling of desire and that desire is of a spiritual nature superior to frivolous earthly wishes. Bradstreet, in this poem, frequently uses figurative language to create images of the kingdom of heaven. In line eighty-nine of the poem, Bradstreet speaks of “the Gates of Pearl.” The gates referring to the gates of heaven; and they are rich and clear, perhaps meaning that living life accordingly means that they are visible in the path ahead and are achievable by means of the Puritan lifestyle, which Bradstreet practiced. Secondly, in lines sixty-seven and sixty-eight of the poem, the word of life is being compared to manna. This references the manna that God gave the Israelites while they wandered in the desert as always a substantial amount of food. The manna was all that the Israelites needed and it was provided for them. The...
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