Verses On The Burning Of Our House Analysis

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In Anne Bradstreet’s poem “Verses on the Burning of our House,” the speaker discusses her attempt to reconcile the loss of her earthly possessions with religious tenets and, in doing so, highlights the struggle of Puritans to maintain the religious ideal of valuing only spiritual worth, as depicted through the concept of weaned affections.
Frequently in her poem, Bradstreet emphasizes the dichotomy between her emotions as she experiences the transpiring events and what she wants to feel through her employment of various literary tools. Her personification of her heart as she depicts “to my God my heart did cry / To straighten me in my Distress / And not to leave me succourless” (Bradstreet 8-10) emphasizes the strength of the speaker’s emotional
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The speaker begins to reminisce about her old belongings and how she will no longer be able to enjoy them. More important than this is the speaker’s discussion of how her home enabled her to fulfill her role as a mother and caretaker. As the speaker depicts how “Under the roof no guest shall sit, / Nor at thy Table eat a bit” (Bradstreet 29-30), she emphasizes how she employed her house as a location for friends and family to congregate and enjoy the company of one another. Following her loss of this vital symbol of her ability to complete her responsibilities as a married Puritan woman, she cannot resist lamenting the immediate disappearance of both all her worldly possessions and her home. In order to highlight how drastically this loss will impact her life, the speaker juxtaposes the “pleasant talk” (Bradstreet 31) that once filled her home prior to the fire with the idea that “In silence ever shalt [the house] lie” (Bradstreet 35). As opposed to the noise of discussion and possible laughter, the house is now condemned to eternal silence and desolation. This stark contrast depicts the speaker’s focus, once more, on the emotional loss she experiences as a result of the obliteration of her

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