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Anne Bradstreet's 'To My Dear Children': Analysis

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By Lee A. Zito

Anne Bradstreet's "To My Dear Children" is a poem, which she had written for her eight children. The first two lines reveal that the speaker is leaving a book, which is unread, to her children to read when she dies. After the speaker has died, then this book she has left will contain truths about the speaker, which in line four is revealed to be a mother. In line four it is also written that the book will specifically contain truths from their mother's mind. The speaker urges her children within line five to "Make use of what I leave in love".

The mother hopes that the children will read this book of her own thoughts. Finally in the last line the speaker states, "And God shall bless you from above." I interpreted this line to be almost a biblical reference because in the Bible it says, "Honor thy mother and father." By asking her children to make use of her book, the mother is asking for respect, for honor.

Mechanically, the poem contains a lot of alliteration, as well as assonance. This creates a smooth flow throughout the poem, as well as a smooth, soothing mood when read as if a mother was saying this to her children.

The symbolism of a book can refer to knowledge and information. The speaker obviously wanted her children to read this book and learn the truth about their mother. This truth might possibly be something that cannot be taught or told to them till their mother has passed away.

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