Imagine living in a society where they repressed you from being able to do and feel what others considered normal. Imagine growing up a woman and learning to read and write for the sole purpose of being able to interpret the bible and nothing else. Now imagine being a woman who had to hide her talent in writing because it would be considered a sin in front of her fellow neighbors. As ridiculous as this all sounds, Bradstreet had to do this. Being raised a Puritan, Bradstreet, had a strict belief system and with that came certain rules she had to follow, such as, putting God first, and not having any attachments to her secular belongings. That being said, “Whoever dies with the most toys wins.” would clearly be a phrase that she and other puritans would disagree with. However, while it is a sin to show emotional attachments to your things, Bradstreet does just that, but catches herself, in her poem, Upon the Burning of Our House, July 10, 1966, showing the correlation between this and the quote.
In her poem, Bradstreet starts by thanking God for everything he gave her and took away from her, but somewhere in between her thanking God and watching her house burn down, she describes what seems to be a disappointment to losing her things, to losing her house. “My sorrowing eyes aside did cast” (Bradstreet 3) It is at this point forward that, Bradstreet starts to list all that she has lost, in an almost remorseful tone. From the way she writes how she won’t be able to lay in the same place she used to, to how she lost her favorite store, one can tell that she is feeling sorry for herself, and she is upset at losing all her belongings. This in itself is considered a sin, seeing as a Puritan shouldn’t have any feelings towards their possessions. As she continues writing she catches what she is doing and starts back peddling by writing, “Adieu, Adieu, all’s vanity.” (Bradstreet 3) From then she starts to let go of all feelings for her material things so that by the end...
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