The poem “Verses Upon the Burning of our Houses” describes a person’s thoughts as their house burns down. The narrator realized through the experience that their earthly possessions are not nearly as important as God and what he has in store for them in heaven. During the beginning the narrator was woken up from people screaming, “fire.” They then asked God to help them through what was happening and to not leave them helpless. As the narrator went outside, they saw the house in flames. Then they thanked God for all of the items they used to have because the items actually belonged to God. They were not upset because they knew God had left them all they would need. The narrator walked past their home and reflected on the memories. They remembered where all of the belongings once sat. It became clear that things had changed. Simple things like sitting at the table, talking, telling stories, or having guests over would not happen under that roof
To be more specific in this essay we look to “Upon the Burning of Our House” by Anne Bradstreet and “Sinners in the hands of an Angry God” by Jonathan Edwards. We also analyze their style, personality, and literary devices to discover the reasoning behind their works. The styles between Anne
Anne Bradstreet’s difficulty with accepting her faith revolves around her devotion to her husband. She had a different approach to expressing her faith than many other Puritans. Bradstreet followed her religion in hopes that her actions would lead to her husband being brought to salvation. She expresses these actions when writing, “That when we live no more, we may live ever. ”(Bradstreet 12).
In Anne Bradstreet’s Poem “Upon the Burning of Our House” she expresses her thoughts on how the burning of her house was god’s will and all the things that belong in it are material things that truly belong to God. Bradshaw states “I blest his Name that gave and took, That layd my goods now in the dust: Yea so it was, and so 'twas just. It was his own: it was not mine; Far be it that I should repine.” She recognizes in this passage that she never truly owned these items, as god allowed her to enjoy them for the time she had, and his decision to take them away is one she must accept.
The value of earthly treasures versus eternal treasures is a key theme in Anne Bradstreet’s “Upon the Burning of Our House.” Throughout the poem, Bradstreet uses the following three examples to discover her feelings about losing her earthly treasures in the house fire and moving toward eternal treasures: her earthly possessions, her position in society, and her ultimate choice to focus on eternity. Anne Bradstreet is a woman who was the first English colonial poet. while she resided in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. She wrote this poem around July of 1666 to describe the event of her home burning to the ground. Bradstreet creates a deeper meaning in her poem through her discussion of earthly value versus eternal value and how she discovers the importance of eternal value through the loss of her earthly possessions.
For many early settlers in America, a strong faith and steady belief in God’s ability to influence and intervene in their everyday lives was vital to survive and endure the hardships and burdens they often faced. This is the case in “A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson”, Mary Rowlandson’s account of a Native American attack on her home which resulted in a lengthened, grueling captivity; throughout her captivity, Rowlandson finds immense comfort and peace in her faith in God and within a Bible she receives. Similarly, Anne Bradstreet depicts the tragic burning of her home in her poem “Here Follows Some Verses upon the Burning of Our House, July 10th 1666”. In her poem, Bradstreet portrays the sadness she feels
In this essay, I will analyze the poem Verses Upon the Burning of Our House (July 10th, 1666) by Anne Bradstreet, a puritan who most critics consider to be America’s first “authentic poet. The poem is based on a true story as Anne’s house really did burn down and illustrates her meditations on this event, the pain she felt after losing her home and the effect it had on her faith. The main theme is Anne’s struggle to not become attached to material things.
Puritans such as Jonathan Edwards and Anne Bradstreet would write personal history or diary type of literature to influence men and women across the nation on their strong biblical beliefs. Puritans are known for their wide spread faith on the bible, how they would preach, and the way they showed others the way of life that is suitable to enter to heaven. Many puritans believed there were people who were already chosen called the “selected”. Each puritan writer had their own way of getting others involved in the lifestyle of following the bible. Writers like Edwards and Bradstreet both wrote about God and the impact although they had different notions; from them having different points of view of how God felt, to the way they wrote and made their readers feel throughout their writings.
Puritans are a people with a very strong belief in both God and the power of God. When people see power, they interpret it in different ways. Some know of power through anger and impulse, while others see power through the goodness the powerful one shows. Although Anne Bradstreet and Jonathan Edwards are both puritan poets, their writings convey mainly different, though sometimes similar, views on God because they have different perceptions of His will and the use of His power. Anne Bradstreet listens to and accepts anything that God wishes, and that is shown through her poem Upon the Burning of my House.
By going against what the Puritan leaders in the church believed, she was also going against the “fathers of the common wealth” (253). Tobin continues to explain how Hutchinson went against the normal standards of woman in her time era by standing up against her male leaders and voicing her views. Hutchinson defended herself in such an orderly manner, as she quoted biblical verses in which she indirectly indicated examples of sexism (255). At the point of Anne Hutchinson’s trial the Puritan churches’ main focus in attempting to excommunicate her was to use religion and the laws bound by God to win their case. The Puritan group leaders used metaphors to further justify their argument, such as comparing God to be the father to the select leaders of the church, who then must act as a father to the public (237).
Moreover, the Puritan community comprised strict gender roles (Boschmann 2005: 247) as can be seen by the example of Anne Bradstreet. Even though she joined the journey, she was mainly following her father and husband. Her reluctance was indicated by her statement that by living in the new community her “heart rose”(Martin 1984: 20). In particular, within
Material Possession vs Religion In “Verses upon the Burning of our House”, about the religious and human view of material things, Anne Bradstreet tries to hide the fact that during the burning of her house she secretly grieves the lost of her material things. The poet struggles in the debate of spiritualism and non spiritualism as she goes on in the poem describing her feelings and thoughts about her house burning down. As I read the poem I felt a bit of controversy from Bradstreet point of view because of her seesaw in how she illustrates the importance of possession, contrary of her religious beliefs. Bradstreet´s final point is that unlike the importance of possession, people, including the poet herself, craves and desires all material things. Bradstreet opens her poem by telling her readers about the impact caused on her when she woke up form a “silent night” (1), term she uses to later express the great impact made on her by the roaring sound of fire burning down her house, and that awakens her from her sleep.
Anne Bradstreet mostly wrote about everyday life while making it seem remarkable. Being a Puritan woman, Anne Bradstreet had trouble writing poetry in colonial society. She was expected to behave as a normal Puritan woman who should stay at home and be a housewife. However, she did
Anne Bradstreet’s poem “To My Dear and Loving Husband” was written between the years of 1641 and 1643. “Not until the year 1678, six years after Bradstreet’s death, the poem was published” (Ruby 228). A poet with Puritan beliefs, this poem uses the religious language, hyperbolic metaphors, paradox, and antiquated diction and style in order to explain the devotion and love for her husband as she struggles with the Puritan way of life along with the uncertainty of her reassurance of love. Reading this poem over and over for countless hours I came to the conclusion that there are two messages that Bradstreet was trying to project in this poem, the Literal way and the sarcastic way. The Literal way clearly shows the readers the love of a wife for her husband.
The puritan rhetoric and conception of love does not in any way match with the normal human way of perceiving love. John Winthrop explains it as it is written in the holy Bible, and also expounds it by the use of his knowledge. His explanation out of the Bible are not however as complicated as those of ordinary people, who believe that love is expensive and one has to buy it from a friend. Winthrop convinces the Christians on the simplicity of love, and later brings them to understand that loving one another is the greatest commandment which has a reward at the end. Unlike the rest of the people who are non believers, Winthrop touches on the aspects of love by quoting different verses from the bible.