In Anne Bradstreet’s poem “The Author to Her Book” she expresses her attitude of being embarrassed because sees so many flaws and mistakes in her writing, as a parent may see in their child but loving and apologetic because it is her own and she can’t make it better. Bradstreet’s use of the extended metaphor of the book being her offspring expresses her attitudes of embarrassment and love.
The first metaphor is of her book to a child, this is the controlling metaphor. The first line: “Thou ill-formed offspring of my feeble mind. . .” shows distaste for the book but more importantly compares the book to being a child of her own. On line 8, “. . . my rambling brat (in print) should mother call. . .” she shows another view of her writing as a brat and herself as its mother. Finally, the entire last paragraph starting on line 20 “In critic’s hands . . . thee out the door” she very forwardly expresses that she is the mother of her book. She uses her controlling metaphor to help express her attitudes.
Bradstreet’s attitude of embarrassment shows through her words quite vividly. She first talks about being embarrassed on line 7 “At thy return my blushing was not small. . .” She is embarrassed to know people read her book. She didn’t want to have her book sent out but her friends took it from her. “Till snatched from thence by friends. . .”-line 3. She does not think her “offspring” is ready to be exposed to the real world. She wants to keep it hidden with her from the world. “I cast thee by as one unfit for light. . .”- line 9. Bradstreet’s embarrassment comes from her “offspring” being “unfit” for the world to see and the flaws that she sees.
Although she is embarrassed by her “offspring” she also has a love only a mother could have for a child. On line 12 she says “Yet being mine own. At length affection would thy blemishes amend. . .” She hopes that her love will help her “offspring” to become something to be proud of. “I washed thy face but more defects I...
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