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Emotional Conflict of Puritan Belief – Anne Bradstreet
Anne Bradstreet was a puritan wife and mother. However, her passion for literary creation was forced, moreover, to operate within the restraints and inhibitions of Puritanism. There is a conflict between Puritan theology and her own personal feelings on life reflected in many of her poems in which reveal her eternal conflict regarding her emotions and the beliefs of her religion.
Puritan marriage normally was repressed so as not to distract their life from their devotion to God. In that time, women normally passed away before men. It was very common for men in that time to remarry rather quickly after the death of his wife to make sure the family is taken care of. However, Anne expressed the bond of love that binds humanity within the divine in her poems. “To My Dear and Loving Husband” conveys Anne Bradstreet’s strong love for her husband: “I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold”. The same poem also expresses her idea of everlasting love between their selves after life on earth which is normally not of typical Puritan belief: “That when we love no more, we may live ever”.
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The Influence of Religion on Anne Bradstreet’s Writings
Anne Bradstreet’s Poems
Anne’s works were based upon her knowledge as a woman, a mother, and a wife living under Puritan standards in seventeenth-century New England. The collection of her poems contained two voices – one in which she wrote of her personal reflections filled with warmth and frank humanity that struck a welcome contrast to the Puritan stereotype. For example, her love for her husband, family and friends revealed an emotional attachment to nature as the center of her narrative performance as seen in the poem
“Contemplations”. In other works, she wrote as a Puritan parishioner in whom biblical allusions interrupted the poet’s voice and identity.
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