Influential Women: Anne Bradstreet And Mary Rowlandson

Back during the seventeenth century, there were two writers that everyone was familiar with, and those writers would be Anne Bradstreet and Mary Rowlandson. Even though the way they wrote was obviously different, there are two things that both of these authors possess, and that is sharing their amazing poetry and literature, and also their passion for writing poems and literary arts along with their similar faith in God that they both have. Outside of the differences between, Anne Bradstreet and Mary Rowlandson, they have many points in their work that would essentially connect them together. One of the main things that I noticed while reading both Bradstreet and Rowlandson, would be the fact that they make it out to be that God plays a very important part as a character in their lives. Which I would assume would have to do with the way they were raised, because it was a different time and more people were religious back then than now. I also noticed how both writers made and outlined their stories to have the reader understand the origin of being a Puritan woman.

Some readings between the two writers that stood out to me would have to be the Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Ms. Mary Rowlandson by Rowlandson, and Upon the Burning of our House along with To My dear children by Anne Bradstreet. In all of these stories, the authors perfectly explain their journey through their specific challenges and the emotions that went through their heads at the time. Now as for Bradstreet, her poems were just about her whole life as a whole and the lessons she has learned and the experiences she has had in her life so far, along with the troubles she experienced while living in a male dominant hierarchy. “But some new Troubles I have had since the world has been filled with Blasphemy, and Sectaries, and some who have been accounted sincere Christians have been carryed away with them, that sometimes I have said, Is there faith upon the earth?” (Bradstreet 235). Her stories usually consisted of her family or just the mistakes she has made over the course of her life. For Rowlandson, her book was mostly about her experiences and the captivation. Throughout the poem, Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Ms. Mary Rowlandson, Rowlandson writes the poem with such heart and passion because when she was writing about those arrogant Indians, which brought up a nasty past for Rowlandson. Rowlandson also used a variety of words to describe the acts the Indians did and portrayed them with words such as “miserable”. “I had often before this said that if the Indians should come, I should choose rather to be killed by them than taken alive” (Rowlandson 259). One of the many qualities that Mrs. Mary Rowlandson has that I personally am a fan of is how Rowlandson shows the audience how determined and the effort she puts in to see her family. I also am a fan of how much both Bradstreet and Rowlandson value family and how important it is to them, and how brave these two women are. Because like myself, I am a big family man and think family is one of, if not the most, important things in this world and i feel i connect myself towards Bradstreet and Rowlandson due to their views and the way they write.

Another possible way that both Bradstreet and Rowlandson are connected is the fact that in both of their poems, in most of them, you can see a similarity on how God always seems to make an appearance in all of their pieces of work. Granted, they lived through a time where religion was not only prospering but taking over. A quote from Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Ms. Mary Rowlandson perfectly is a perfect example of how the reference to god is used in -at least Rowlandson’s- the style of writing used. “The Lord hereby would make us the more acknowledge His hand, and to see that our help is always in Him” (Rowlandson, 258). Basically what this quote is saying is how with whatever you possibly encounter in life God will always be there to help you no matter what, and just to keep faith in God, always. God, back then had a huge presence not just in the two writers’ lives, but in everyone’s day to day lives. For example, I remember reading that people around this time believed that if they were not worshipping God enough, that there would be some type of consequence such as taking away some pleasures on the earth at the time. With God being such a big presence in both writer’s lives, God helped both of them get through the hardest times of their lives with additional help from both of their passions for writing. Bradstreet and Rowlandson also were prime examples when it came to their writing styles. Both Bradstreet and Rowlandson were both big into the Puritan writing style as you can see in the stories Upon the Burning of Our House and Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Ms. Mary Rowlandson. Both of these stories are very similar when looking more in-depth at it. Both of these stories, the authors wrote about a tough time that they endured at some point in their lives and wrote about how God helped them through whatever situation it was at that specific time. I truly believe that this is a good example of the Puritan writing style because the Puritans were a very Religion-based group of people, and religion was taking over their lives with how important it was to them.

In the poem Upon the Burning of Our House by Anne Bradstreet, Bradstreet was essentially crying and praying to God that he can help her in any way he can, and basically fix everything for her. Even after her home burning down, the belief in God was so strong that, she didn’t lose hope in her future even after her own house burning down. Even at the end of the poem Bradstreet made it clear that she did not care at all about money or any of her valuables that she may have lost in the fire, but she will be alright if she keeps her trust and her faith strong in God. And was a big believer in the saying “God always has a plan”.

Bradstreet and Rowlandson are two of the greatest writers of their time and have impacts on the style and way people still to this day. A lot of the stories made by both of these writers, such as Upon the Burning of Our House, To my Dear Children, and Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Ms. Mary Rowlandson include techniques that are mainly used in the Puritan style of writing. All three of these stories also have big points that help connect all three including all of them including some sort of unforgettable experience and the value God holds to them on a spiritual level, which made both Bradstreet and Rowlandson’s stories and writing styles unique which made it way more interesting to read. And after reading all of these stories it is honestly incredible to see how both authors saw some type of sign or blessing in their time of suffering, I don’t think that anyone today could act the same as these two strong women with what they had previously went through. While both of these writers had interesting backgrounds and differences, but the two writers are more similar than one might originally think.   

16 December 2021
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