Femininity In Anne Bradstreet

1243 Words 5 Pages
Anne Bradstreet and Femininity
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, femininity can be defined as “Behaviour or qualities regarded as characteristic of a woman; feminine quality or characteristics; womanliness.” (OED) In today’s society, the concept of femininity takes on many different roles and forms. You can find women in more traditional roles such as mothers and teachers to non- traditional roles such as lawyers, doctors and construction workers. The concept of femininity can be related to a person today regardless of a person’s physical sex. However, during the Puritan’s colonization in America, a woman’s characteristics were not as fluid as they are today. Anne Bradstreet broke many of glass ceilings for women. She was the first
…show more content…
Thus when the Tenth Muse was published, Bradstreet did not know how to respond in a socially acceptable way, so she wrote a poem in 1678 titled The Author to Her book. In the poem, she addresses the book as the offspring of her feeble brain. She uses the term feeble 1to elaborate on her position in society as a woman. The unanswered question is this: is Bradstreet saying this because she believes her work is no good, saying it to cover her tracks as she is treading new ground, or is it meant as satire to say that the poetry wasn’t meant to be judged by anyone other than herself? She proceeds further in this poem by saying she wishes she could fix the book because she views it as a rambling child with many flaws. She would smooth out the lines and make her poem flow better and make it something she could be proud of. She wishes she could prover herself as an author, which she does by publishing other works such as this after the Tenth Muse. Another one of her works she wrote in 1678 is titled To My Dear, Loving Husband. This poem is dedicated to her husband and shows that she is a good Puritan. She begins the poem with the line “If ever” and repeats it three times. This is a technique known as anaphora. This sets up the rest of the poem to answer her call. If ever two people were happy and in love, it was Anne Bradstreet and her husband. She acknowledges the Christian belief that in marriage, two people become one, just as Adam and Eve came from one flesh. From this part of the poem, she transitions to expressing her love for her husband. She says her love “is such that rivers cannot quench.” (5) At the end of her poem, she expresses that she wants their love to outlive them and live forever through the people who knew of their love

Related Documents