Research Paper On Anne Bradstreet

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Megan Moorman Professor Weaver English 2250 6 October 2015 Anne Bradstreet’s Early Feminism and Desire for Recognition in “Prologue” Anne Bradstreet is an iconic early American poet for many reasons; aside from being one of the first works of literature to come from the new world, she displayed early signs of feminism, an idea not reflected in the Puritanical society in which she lived nor the British society which took such a great liking to her work. Although she remains seemingly humble and submissive, her work is full of tension—between herself and her work, her society, her mind. Particularly in her work “ Prologue”, the beginning to her epic collection of poems, this tension is evident between herself and the Puritan mindset in her…show more content…
She questions why women are so looked down upon in Puritan society while the “mild” Grecian society “feigned they those nine” (32) female muses on which art and poetry were based. She continues to use this attitude of deprecation and understatement of feminine achievement as a reflection of society. The allusions she draws to characters like the Muses and Bartas are another demonstration of irony as in her opening lines, Bradstreet promises to never speak of topics “too superior” (3) for her humble pen and asserts that a lowly female could not capture tales of history or war, yet in many of her poems, most notably “In Honour of that High and Mighty Princess, Queen Elizabeth”, she discusses these things in great detail, insinuating that not only is she educated enough to speak on these things, but that she is fully capable. Although she uses some irony and sarcasm to combat it, she seems to admit defeat, as in her society it will always be true that “Men can do best, and Women know it well” (40), so she asks not for a complete societal reform, but for men to “yet grant some small acknowledgement of ours [women]” (42), also in “a plea for female individuality” (Feminist Literature) she asks the reader to "[l]et Greeks be Greeks, and women what they are”

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