feeling of a worthless woman

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Josh Duran Mr. Chrestman American Literature 8 June 2003 The Feeling of Worthlessness in a Woman In the poem “Prologue” written by Anne Bradstreet it is made clear that many of Bradstreet’s insecurities come from living in a Puritan environment. Bradstreet often questioned the Puritan faith. However, once she learned the woman’s place in her society her questioning grew further. Bradstreet was not happy living the life of a “normal” Puritan wife. Instead, Anne wanted something more, something that made her feel like she fulfilled her role in society as a whole; not just the woman’s society. Anne Bradstreet in the “Prologue” strongly expresses her feelings about being a Puritan woman, and suggests that since she is a woman her mere existence is worthless. Contributing to her feeling of worthlessness is Bradstreet’s envious spirit. Guillaume du Bartas was a French writer admired by all Puritans. Bradstreet desired for Puritans to admire her writings as they do Guillaume du Bartas. Bradstreet says that with her “wond’ring eyes and envious heart/ Great Bartas’ sugared lines do but read o’er” (128). Anne wants to be like Bartas, but Bradstreet knows that because she is a woman, her works will never be praised like Guillaume’s. Bradstreet is also envious of the Greeks and their literary accomplishments. Bradstreet also shows her insecurity when she says, “Nor can I, like that fluent sweet tongued Greek” (129). Lee Oser believes that she lingered over the Greek’s traditions on natural beauty (194). Although Bradstreet has great dreams, she knows her limits as a woman and is left only to dream. Bradstreet soon becomes depressed and grows angry at her state in society, because of envy and her continuous dreaming. John Winthrop says, “God Almighty hath so disposed of the condition of mankind” (107). Bradstreet does not believe that women should have a
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