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Importance Of Early American Women Writers

2222 words - 9 pages

   What could be said to early American women's writers except, thank you? The first American women's writers opened doors and laid the foundation for future women's writers and readers. Today's women raise children, supervise households, and work outside the home with every modern convenience available, and as you would expect do not find the time to write, except for a grocery list. Early American women raised children and supervised households without the modern conveniences of today and in some way made time to write the first poetry of the "New World." For example, Everette Emerson gives a picture of Anne Bradstreet a housewife who stole hours from sleep for writing gave women American writers their start (4). Different styles of writing emerged from various early American women writers in each century, there by setting a precedent for those that followed. Anne Bradstreet, Phillis Wheatley, Abigail Adams, Hannah Foster, Susanna Rowson, and Louisa May Alcott established new forms of literary styles like poetry, letters, fiction, and novels in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.

Anne Bradstreet established domestic tradition in American poetry in the 17th century. Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672) first book of poetry was "The Tenth Muse", with the assistance of her brother-in-law it was published in 1650. "Anne was a Puritan woman of deep spiritual faith, but her highly intelligent and well-educated mind was capable of questioning and even rebellion" (Piercy 17). During the Puritan era of Anne Bradstreet, the idea was one of community and God. According to Katherine M. Rogers, "In her "Prologue," Bradstreet acknowledged that many of her contemporaries thought a needle fitted her hand better than a pen" (Meridian 11.5.2). She reasoned her writing in stanza seven of her "Prologue" by conveying let me be who I am (Meridian 13.7.1). Bradstreet poetry was considered "plain style." She offered the reader a look into the private world, her world. "Upon Burning in Our House" was a simple style poem about the truth put into simple words, as were all of Bradstreet's poems. Bradstreet tells about faith in God and belongings lost in the poem. Bradstreet addressed her husband, children, God, and community in her poems. Her maternal instinct and dedication were present in her writing. In the poem, "The Author to Her Book," Bradstreet compares the poem itself to a child, her child:

Thou ill-formed offspring of my feeble brain,

Who after birth did'st by my side remain,

Till snatched from thence by friends, less wise than true,

Who thee abroad, exposed to public view,

Made thee in rags, halting to th' press to trudge,

These errors were not lessened (all may judge).

At thy return my blushing was not small,

my rambling brat in (in print) should mother call,

I cast thee by as one unfit for light,

My visage was so irksome in my sight;

Yet being mine own, at length affection would

thy blemishes amend, if so I could: ...

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