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.

Journal 2

In the river that runs to the sea there are many different creatures. Some of whom are kind, and others wicked. The truly kind creatures are easy to spot, but those that would betray trust for their own gain are much harder to see. Here follows the story involving one such betrayal.

Not long ago a very lovely den lay in the side of the river. It was in the grassy bank of one of the river's slower portions, and half of hole was above the surface of the water. As inconvenient as this may sound, it was situated so that through out the day light played in changing colors on the top of the water and on the sand underneath. There lived a rather large catfish, and needless to say he was the envy of many in that stretch of the river.

One day a rather young bass introduced himself to the catfish. He was a very well mannered and polite bass, so the catfish invited him to have tea with him in his den. The bass, who claimed to have always wanted to see such a place, readily agreed. While the catfish was making the tea, the bass looked around and noticed an opening in the back of the den. He asked where it went. "Oh, no where." replied the catfish.

When night came and the only light in the catfish hole was that of the stars and moon, the bass crept back in. The catfish awoke in the morning to find his self outside his den, with many bass inside. When he tried to run them out from the back enterance, he fount it too filled with bass. Knowing that there was little more he could do, he left.

When word got around that the catfish had been removed from his cave, many creatures were outraged, especially the beavers. The beavers, it would seem, had been very good friends with the catfish. They had a dam nearby, and they warned all the fish in the area and broke it open.

The water came rushing down the river quickly and strongly, and even the catfish's den was no protection from it. When the water slowed to its normal pace, the other creatures found that the bass were gone and the catfish had returned.

Thus it is that you should never abuse people's hospitality, because people who offer it often have friends.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Journal 1

Once, a long time ago, rain fell from the sky quietly and gently, and never was accompanied by lightning and thunder. Lightning never destroyed trees or homes, and everything grew tall and beautifully.

One day a young man was walking through the forest. While resting beneath the tall trees, because even walking is a rest in such a place, he came upon a very old man. The old man invited the young man to sit down and speak with him. The young man was not a mean spirited person, but he did not know the old man and was not fond of strangers.

He answered rather rudely, saying "No, I will not sit with you. I do not know you, and you look very strange besides." It was true that the old man looked very strange. His hair was shaggy and grey, and his face was deeply lined with age. On top of that he wore the strangest clothing the young man had ever seen. As true as it was, it was still a very impolite thing to mention.

The young man's refusal made the old man very angry, mostly because of the indignant manned of the speaker. "I am many years your elder, and even if you do not wish to sit with me you should have a little respect." the old man replied. "After all, I have seen times and places that you have not the slightest notion of."

At this the young man became annoyed. As I said before, he was by no means a bad person, but even the best among us can have trouble taking criticism sometimes even from someone with as much wisdom as their elders. He answered "I do not owe you any respect, and now I shall be leaving."

The rain spirit stood and looked at the impudent young man who had treated him with so little courtesy. After studying him for a moment, he sprang into the sky. A storm began, the likes of which the young man had never before seen. Thunder and lightning, which were before never so much as heard of, flew out of the sky. Lightning kill favorite trees. The cold wind knocked tall branches out of the trees. The old man's fury continued until the grove was a wreck.

Even now the old man is still enraged by the young man's rudeness to him, and even now thunder and lightning accompany the larger storms.