Tuesday, August 30, 2011

puritan writing reaction blog

Even though Mary Rowlandson and Anne Bradstreet would not have been typical writers in that time period, being women, their writings are still very typical of a Puritan of that time. Among the Puritan qualities their writings have are interpretations of events as works of God, unadorned writing style, and were written about true events. Something else worth noting is that despite the plainness of the style, these women are still able to make their writings sort of touching.

When Mary Rowlandson talks about the small good things that came her way while she was a captive, she always credits God for them. For instance, when she recalls how her youngest child died and she was forced to spend the night beside it, she writes "I have thought since of the wonderful goodness of God to me, preserving me so in the use of my reason and senses in that distressed time" (Rowlandson 83). Even though something horrible had happened she still thanks God for that one small blessing. When Anne Bradstreet reflects on how her house was destroyed, she rebukes herself with the thought that God had given all of that to her, and it was his right to take it away if he wished (Bradstreet 16-19). Both women see events as acts of God, and because they are works of God the women always look to the bright side. After all, God only does things for the good of his people. So even though the writings are about sad things, there is still an optimistic air about them.

Reading through the two works, I do not think that I read a single simile or metaphor. Even in descriptions that could use that kind of detail, like when Mary describes how much she worried about her children, the language is simple and to the point (Rowlandson 84-85). In Anne's work the amount of flouring language is about the same, and it is poetry for God's sake! The closest she even comes to that kind of description is when she writes about all of the things that will never happen again in her house (Bradstreet 29-34). Even without all of the long descriptions that I am accustomed to, both works still make me sad because of what the are about. The way the things are written makes me feel like all of the fancy words and long expressions would get in the way of the feelings behind the words. It would seem sort of like putting a peacock tail on a person, useless and ugly. I also think that it is kind of funny that I used a simile to describe why Puritans should not use things such as similes.

Typically Puritans wrote about the things that happened in their lives because these things were the real workings of God, there by making them better than any fiction. Both Mary Rowlandson and Anne Bradstreet wrote about actual events in their lives instead of things they had imagined. because the things they wrote about were true, even though the language was plain they were still able to get across the way they felt about what happened very clearly. I really liked the writings because of this.

Bradstreet, Anne. "Upon the Burning of Our House." Comp. Jeffrey D. Wilhelm, Ph.D. and Douglas Fisher, Ph.D. Glencoe Literature. American Literature ed. Columbus: McGraw-Hill Companies, 2009. 97-99. Print.

Rowlandson, Mary. "A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson." Comp. Jeffrey D. Wilhelm, Ph.D. and Douglas Fisher, Ph.D. Glencoe Literature. American Literature ed. Columbus: McGraw-Hill Companies, 2009. 97-99. Print.

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