Anne Bradstreet's Before The Birth Of Her Children

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Women in the 1600’s:
A Fetching View into the Psyche of Anne Bradstreet “Before the Birth of One of Her Children” is a poem that gives an insight into the life of women in the 1600’s. The poet through her recounting shows no hesitation about the idea of delivering her sprog to term. The warring between self-preservation versus beliefs is an idea that never quite grazes its lines. There is the acceptance of death as the culmination of life stated by the line “A common thing, yet oh inevitable” (6). Bradstreet wrote that they are “both ignorant” (9) indicating that they do not know if she will die in childbirth, nevertheless she has come to accept this possibility with no consideration towards the logical choice of merely not having more children. Removing the threat to her life never seems to cross her mind. This all coalesces to show that Puritan religion and the expectations society had of women made any innate self-preservation
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The poem is addressed towards her husband as a “last Farewell” (28), which overtly denote that her demise evoked such fear in her that she had to write a poem. She believed that God’s punishment from “The sentence past is most irrevocable” (5) was predestined; moreover, she gives the idea that eventually everything passes away might as well be caused by bringing her child into the world. It is not much of a stretch to consider this idea as a widely held belief among that times women. There is much emphasis on her husband remembering her with affection as detailed by the “Yet love thy dead, who long lay in thine arms” (20). The qualms she mentions in the text are not chiefly because of her looming end, but that of the danger her children, hence the line where she asks her spouse to “protect from step Dames injury” (24).

Work Cited
Bradstreet, Anne. “Before the Birth of One of Her Children.” “To My Dear and Loving
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