UPON BURNING OF OUR HOUSE poem analysis

Length: 4 Pages 1033 Words

Anne Bradstreet is known as a prolific poet of 17th century whose work is largely based on Puritan theological concepts. Puritan society had its own unique set of Christian beliefs, which were slightly harsh compared to modern Christian values. For this reason, English writings of this period reveal a sense of hopelessness and despondency as far as this worldly life is concerned. Material accomplishments were viewed as selfish desires, which had to be abandoned if a man sought to achieve happiness in the world thereafter. These were some of the common Puritan concepts, which must be kept in mind when reading and analyzing Bradstreet's poem, ‘Upon Burning of Our House'. This poem was written in 1666, a time when women were barred from entering the world of literature. Thus it was all the more important for female writers and poets to adhere to strict Christian beliefs and values in order not to infuriate the unyielding Puritan society. For this reason, we notice every line of Bradstreet's poem highlighting Puritan theological ideals. The poem begins with Bradstreet awakening to the sound of Fire. This fire symbolizes the Day of Judgment because like fire, that day would bring an end to everything man has. Th Continue...


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The poet it appears was writing this poem to please the society of her times and thus failed to make any significant original contribution to this clichd idea. However if the poem is studied in historical context, we can unearth many significant messages, which speak volumes about the times of the poet. (108) This is the only time she sheds off her Puritan guard and reveals her true self and honestly discusses human emotions of loss. " The poet has finally gained mastery over her selfish needs and feels that now all she truly desires to see and possess is that heavenly abode that human beings have been promised. Farewell, my pelf; farewell, my storeThe world no longer let me love;my hope and Treasure lies above. But it is only when man realizes why exactly he needed them that they become completely worthless objects. The poet can be seen at her original best here because it was the real Anne Bradstreet who captured these emotions. Bradstreet admits that her morning is useless since everything she owned was a gift of God who has complete authority to take them back when and as He pleases. In short, she maintains that man's worldly belongings are important because they symbolize success and achievement and help him stand out. Sound of Fire reminds the poet of her real and most important goal in this world as she says, "That fearful sound of "fire" and "fire," Let no man know is my Desire. Bradstreet is exploring a very simple Christian concept in this poem. at would be the day when man's worldly possessions wouldn't matter, and he would only be worrying about whether or not he would be accepted in Heaven. "There's wealth enough; I need no more.