Does True Love Exist?
"I love you." These three little words might possibly be the most powerful statement one can make to another person. In life, most yearn for the intimate affection that a certain someone can provide them. Women dream of their Prince Charming to come and sweep them off their feet, while men search for the love of their life that sets their heart on fire. But what happens when love is thrown around without a second thought? Has this four letter word become an overused cliché? Has love been replaced with lust? Is there such a thing as true love? This last question has been asked throughout history, while many have argued and debated over the final answer. We, as a society, have become a loveless, sex crazed group of people with no concern for any emotion or attachment in our lives. So does this mean that true love does not exist? No. This only shows that achieving the deepest of feelings takes work that our fast-food eating, TV watching generation is not prepared to handle. I believe that true love does exist, but has merely been pushed aside by convenience, superficiality, and apathy.
It seems that over the years, true love is expressed less and less. We are bombarded with holiday cards filled with someone else's words, and are practically forced to send our love in an email. How often do we actually sit down and write out our feelings to the one we love? "To My Dear and Loving Husband," however, is the quintessential love letter. Anne Bradstreet shares her feelings to her husband in such a loving way that could make anyone's heart melt. According to BellaOnline, Bradstreet was, "married to governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony and had eight children." Even though her marriage might have become filled with routines and lost a little passion, the poet never loses the love for her husband. She states that the power of her "
love is such that rivers cannot quench"(Bradstreet, 7). Bradstreet expresses her emotions to be so strong that not even a roaring river can possibly satisfy them. She prizes her husband's "
love more than whole mines of gold/ Or all the riches that the East doth hold," (Bradstreet, 5-6) meaning she values his affection more than any amount of money she could obtain. The sonnet goes on to prove how everlasting true love can be when Bradstreet states, "
when we live no more, we may live ever"(12). She wishes to be in love with her husband eternally, even after they both die.
The love that Anne Bradstreet expresses in her poem, "To My Dear and Loving Husband," may not have been the easiest thing for her to write. As a Puritan living in Boston in 1678, it was highly unacceptable for a woman to be so open with her feelings. Within her community, "any woman who sought to use her wit, charm, or intelligence
found herself ridiculed, banished, or executed by the Colony's powerful group of male leaders"(Andregg). "Her domain was to be domestic, separated from the linked affairs of church and state, even deriving her ideas of God from the contemplations of her husband's excellencies,'" according to the BiographyofAnneBradstreet. Even with this knowledge, Bradstreet still took the chance of writing down the love for her husband with words. Another obstacle she was faced with was her struggle for self-importance, when her culture clearly valued God above anyone else. Love during the Puritan era was meant only to occur between God and oneself, and people were not permitted to write about feelings for another person. Love is a powerful thing and can encourage people to do things they normally wouldn't. In this case, Bradstreet went against everything she knew to express her feelings for her husband. Although love can be the most wonderful feeling in the world, it is not the answer to all of one's problems. Edna St. Vincent Millay, author of "Love Is Not All," makes this clear in her poem. She states that love "
is not meat nor drink/ Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain"(Millay, 1-2)....
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