Analysis Of Upon The Burning Of Our House

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Analyzing “Upon The Burning of Our House”
Anne Bradstreet 's "Upon The Burning of Our House" appears to be merely a poem expressing the author 's feelings toward her house 's destruction. Upon further analysis, Bradstreet cleverly used this opportunity to simultaneously address the decline of feminine respect in the Puritan community.
In the title "Upon The Burning of Our House", Bradstreet chooses to use a plural possessive in front of the word “house”. While this could just mean the house is in her family’s possession, it is unlikely because she does not address her family in the poem. Dismissing that interpretation, the Puritan sense and emphasis on community comes to mind instead. Bradstreet uses the word “our” purposefully as a subtle
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Bradstreet walks past the ruins, seeing that “[her] pleasant things in ashes lie”. Her pleasant things are not only her possessions; they are also the qualities of her character, now lying in the residue of prejudice. This damage to the respect of her character is so severe that “[her qualities] behold no more shall she”. In fact, she feels she can no longer do the things expected of her, using a no/nor alternation to reinforce the idea of loss and negativity. Her opinion no longer matters for her reputation is ruined, and so “in silence ever shalt thou …show more content…
This shift is her transition into the significance of this fire, the second step of Puritan interpretation. The first step, basically all before this point, is to experience the fire. She begins questioning her grief, something specific to this step since she does not use interrogative statements in the rest of the poem. Her repetition of “did/didst thy” reinforces her doubt in continuing to grieve. Her gradually increasing use of metaphors shatters the reader’s perception of not only her thought process, but also what she intends to be the reaction to the poem. In the lines “Didst fix thy hope on mold’ring dust?/The arm of flesh didst make thy trust?” Bradstreet rejects the sympathy the reader has developed through the course of the poem by not allowing herself to wallow in grief. The lack of feminine respect is God’s challenge for her, and her goal ultimately is to succeed. Success in this event is determined by whether she “fix[es] [her] hope on mold’ring dust” or falls for the illusion of “the arm of flesh”. Her powerful metaphors for temporary life on Earth and perception of reality illustrate Bradstreet’s victorious acceptance of the fire’s

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