Anne Bradstreet "The Prologue"

Topics: Poetry, Irony, Sarcasm Pages: 2 (453 words) Published: June 18, 2013
Larisa Johnson
Mr. Shane Teter
American Literature I
09 June 2013

Topic 1: "The Prologue"
First of all, I would like to admit that Anne Bradstreet is a very brave woman. Living in the Puritan society, where women were treated like a property, she was strong and brave enough to write such a challenging poem. This poem is like a “soul scream’ – Bradstreet shares her desire to be recognized and respected as a female writer. She shares that desire in a very interesting way. The whole poem is mostly based on irony and sarcasm. Especially it can be noticed throughout the first three stanzas, where she intentionally understates herself and her skills. For example, “A Bartas can do what a Bartas will, But simple I according to my skill”, from the second stanza and, “My obscure lines shall not so dim their worth”, from the third. Even though she criticized herself, she does know her writing skills. She knows she can write. But also she knows the current situation in Puritan society, where women are not allowed to have their own opinions and are not expected to have a creative mind. That is why Bradstreet uses irony and sarcasm in order to criticize the male prejudice towards the female world and female creativity. The phrase, “A weak and wounded brain admits no cure”, proves it again. Here Bradstreet criticizes the common opinion that women are “weak” by the nature. If they are weak, can they possibly do things as good as “strong” men do? No, they cannot, because there is no cure for a weak and wounded brain. I really enjoyed Bradstreet’s style. Her poem is challenging, but it is written very politely. Though, in the fifth stanza her criticism becomes more open, direct and concrete. For example, “I am obnoxious to each carping tongue.” Here she displays her anger. Thus, her polite criticism is now replaced with open disagreement, which still remained sarcastic. This replacement was made very smoothly and effective. This change of tone helped...

Cited: Bradstreet, Anne. “The Prologue”. The Norton Anthology American Literature.
Reidhead, Julie. W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. New York. 2013. 121. Print.
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