Anne Bradstreet Essay

842 Words4 Pages
Lohit Palle Mondloch-3 October 30, 2012 In Anne Bradstreet's narrative poem, titled "Some Verses on the Burning of our House, 1666," the speaker reflects on the sudden loss of her worldly possessions in a house fire. The experience prompts an inner struggle between her attachment to the material things ant the principles of her Puritan faith, which teaches her to value God and Biblical truths above all else. The poem employs a number of literary and rhetorical devices to convey Bradstreet's belief in the need to disavow materialism and embrace the gifts of the spirit; the poem also conveys the theme that human nature is frail, and that disavowing the material world is therefore difficult. Bradstreet's main purpose is to convey the idea that the material world is shallow and that humans should trust in God for genuine joy and fulfillment. She uses allusions, imagery, and metaphors to relate this lesson. One allusion occurs in line 14, where Bradstreet surveys the scene of her torched house. She "blest his name that gave and took" the materials she owns. Bradstreet is alluding to the Bible teaching "the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away." This idea helps understand that when it comes to material wealth, the notion of human ownership is illusory. Bradstreet also uses some stark imagery in this part of the poem to convey the shallowness of materialism. In lines 21-36, Bradstreet describes the items that burned down with her house. The "Trunk, and there be that chest/ There lay that store I counted best" (25-26). She also mentions, "the roof [where] no guest shall sit,/ Nor at thy Table eat a bit", to state that no one will ever be able to eat or sit in that house again. She finally realizes then, "Adieu, Adieu, All's Vanity." (Bradstreet 36). What she is saying is that all the stuff is useless because it is only material. Moreover, Bradstreet's extended
Open Document