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Feminism in Anne Bradstreets Poems - Essay Example

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Anne Bradstreet: An Epitome Of Courage Introduction Art has always been a best friend of man. Men and women who have a tendency to explore every aspect of their lives in detail and try to make sense of it, have always utilized artistic mediums to express themselves…
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Feminism in Anne Bradstreets Poems
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Download file to see previous pages Through poems, poets express their deepest feelings and thoughts, about the personal, social and political situations of their times. In the past, it was considered that only men are capable of writing poetry, as it takes guts and courage to express the bold and revolutionary thoughts, ideas and feelings openly. Hence, when a woman living in the 17th century, used poetry as a medium to express her deepest and the darkest fears, agonies, hopes and dreams, then it left an unforgettable mark in the history of poetry. The woman who left an indelible mark in the world of literature through her poems which mirrored her deep sentiments and protest against the Puritan ways that restricted women from living a free and respectable life, was Anne Bradstreet (Martin, “An American” 5). When Anne Bradstreet’s poems were reclaimed by American woman writer in 1960’s, then her free thinking and her feelings about woman’s position in the society, made her to be known as a feminist poet (Frost 117). However, feminism in Anne Bradstreet’s poetry was not expressed boldly and ‘loudly’, but was visible in a subtle way through language that was socially acceptable, polished and pious in nature. Even though Anne Bradstreet was a free thinker and believed in equality of women, it can be said that in initial part of her life, feminism was visible more in her intellectual curiosity about God and her bold spiritual quest (which was not expected of women in her time), than through an outright reference to women’s freedom and equality in her poems. However, when she sensed rejection and suppression of her art by people, due to her being a female, then the feminist in her was awakened. Hence, it won’t be wrong to say that it was the love and passion of her art that awakened the feminist in Anne Bradstreet, and made her to revolt against the Puritan restrictions and limitations forced on women in her time. Feminist At Heart Women who are well aware of their rights and fight against the cruel and selfish behavior of men towards them are called as feminists. However, rather than showing her opposition and revolt in her actions and poetry, Anne Bradstreet chose to express her true feelings in mild ways which were in sync with the Puritan America and social standards of her time (Frost 117). Hence, feminism in Anne Bradstreet’s poetry was expressed in subtle ways initially. Rather than writing about her experience of the external world and what she felt and knew about it, Anne Bradstreet’s poetry was a way of escapism from the reality of her life (Rich xiv). She avoided using her personal life experiences as a subject of her poems. It was not common for women of her time (Puritan) to think of anything apart from her limited world of her family, husband, children, household chores and duties (Rich xiv). ‘Independence’ of women was considered a ‘prideful monster’ in the Puritan doctrines (Martin, “Shakespeare’s Sisters” 19). However, Anne Bradstreet was an educated and very well read woman (Rich xi). She was intellectually aware and gained knowledge about the subjects like theology, history and literature (Rich xi). This made her to show curiosity about the topics which were considered the domain of men and hence, she got the reputation of being a modern woman who had spirit to go beyond the limited world that was forced on women of her time (Rich xvi). Hence, her thinking ability and the spirit to go ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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