|Type of paper:||Literature review|
|Categories:||Maternity Anne Bradstreet|
Kimberly Latta, in the article "'Such is My Bond': Maternity and Economy in Anne Bradstreet's Writings" takes it upon herself to establish the blend of the domestic, the economic, and the theological themes as presented in Anne Bradstreet's writings. IN this analysis, her main focus is on the connection between the economy and maternity. Latta argues that Bradstreet's fixation on the differences between the spiritual and the physical is a significant indicator of the application of modernity in the understanding of the physical universe. Latta establishes that the theme of maternity and economy is very consistent and dominant throughout Bradstreet's writings as will be presented in the following analysis.
In the investigation of the scope of her "bonds", Bradstreet explored her connections of love to God, her children, husband, and parents as well as her duties and debts. Just like other protestant poets, she uses the daily experiences to make a connection between obligations, investments, and the belief o significantly humans are indebted to God. In this regard, Latta is keen to establish that Bradstreet repeatedly employs the use of figuration to express her ingenuity, which represents the perception of her universe. Such is the indication of the theological and domestic imagery in these works that Bradstreet's world comprises of orders uniformly in agreement that both the physical and the spiritual aspects of the universe are held together by God, who created them.
The constant reminder by daily experiences of the linkage between the physical and the spiritual significantly impacts a person's ability to distinguish between religious and non-spiritual things. The distinction of these aspects is highly evident in Bradstreet's parlance of debts, interest, and payments. Figuratively, Latta argues that Bradstreet extends the bond between God and humans likening it to the spiritual or religious connection between a child and its mother. Bradstreet presents God as the original parent, and she is the child; she is still a mother and creditor to the human race. In search of the applicability of this figure, Bradstreet confesses that there exist an attraction and connection to the physical, material, realm which she deems vital in ways that the spiritual might find difficult to understand. This argument portrays Bradstreet as leaning towards the modern understanding of secularization through which the link between, for instance, an author and their work, or a mother and her child is compelling and accurate in its way.
The presentation of the physical and the spiritual as separate but interconnecting realms necessitates for the presence of real and deep thought to establish this connection between activities and a person's religious preferences. It is my opinion that it the bond created by a notion or belief of debt to a higher entity allows one to assert themselves in a particular culture and perceive themselves to belong to a certain level in the social and religious hierarchy. For instance, Bradstreet's assertions allowed her to visualize herself as mother-creator of secular values that were important and were right in their way. This idea of perceiving herself as a creator represent a far much deeper perspective in society even alluding to the point that humankind can create "new" wealth by and for themselves that does not comprise the original creation.
Latta indicates that as presented in her writings, during the era in which Bradstreet lived, people sought to attach sanctity to the wealth they created by attempting to justify the attachment of interests on debts. Writers during this time likened this habit to a mother who was only giving birth to illegitimate children in the form of interest, and they did not belong to God. This theme transcends the exploration of Bradstreet's bonds with her children, and husband. In the relationships with her children, Bradstreet employs literary imagery likening her motherhood to the laboring mother told by Paul in Galatians 4:19. Latta establishes this connection and figuratively terms Bradstreet's letters to her children as "maternal epistles" similar to the Pauline Epistles in the Bible. These letters, she affirms, are meant to emotionally, spiritually and morally bind the mother to her children. They spell out what Bradstreet has done for her children and what she asks of them.
From Latta's analysis, it can be deduced people in Bradstreet's era often perceived their creator to be a maternal figure as can be seen in their attempts of expressing the love and care they felt offered by their spiritual parent. For example, Bradstreet imagines God to be an intelligent mother making for her children different clothing of wealth, honor, and health. The people believed that when they exhibited spiritually acceptable behavior, God would reward them with riches. Bradstreet perceived her children as gifts from God, which then required them to act as children of God. She needs them to understand the costs she experienced for them and how much they are indebted to her.
I agree with this view because to date, even without being reminded, we grow up with an inbuilt awareness of how much we owe our parents for giving birth to us and taking care of us, not to mention their unconditional love. Additionally, there is a common saying that our mothers are like our second gods.
Bradstreet, in her work, "To my dear and loving Husband" portrays her husband's love as more expensive compared to precious things such as gold and the East doth hold riches. She asserts that she cannot be able to repay this love but prays that heaven repays him in assorted folds. Also, in her writing, "Here Follows Some Verses upon the Burning of our House," Bradstreet depicts her longing for God to dwell in her heart and uses the imagery of a fire and how it causes distress. Also, she alludes to how the fire burns all the things that stand in her way of progressing spiritually, and since she beholds them no more, she gives thanks to God for answering the cry of her heart.
From the analysis of the writings as indicated above, the connection between maternity and theology is very significant in Bradstreet's works. Regardless of the gender or social class, people in the era that Bradstreet lives created connections between motherhood by depicting God in a maternal aspect. His love, grace, and care are likened to that of a mother to her children. Also, both ordinary people, as well as poets and scholars, attempted to explain their spirituality through their everyday experiences. This allowed them to assert themselves in particular religious cultures that resonated with their imagination and creativity in the relationship between the physical and the spiritual realms. This saw ideas and paradigms borne that were important to the holders and were right in their rights.
Bradstreet, Anne. "To My Dear and Loving Husband." (2012).
Bradstreet, Anne. "Here Follows Some Verses upon the Burning of Our House."." Study the Vocabulary, Language Coach, Literary Focus and Reading Focus on (1994): 95.
Latta, Kimberly. "'Such Is My Bond': Maternity and Economy in Anne Bradstreet's Writings."
Literature Criticism from 1400 to 1800, edited by Thomas J. Schoenberg and Lawrence J. Trudeau, vol. 130, Gale, 2007. Literature Resource Center, go.galegroup.com.db23.linccweb.org/ps/i.do?p=GLS&sw=w&u=lincclin_sjrcc&v=2.1&it=r&id=G ALE%7CH1420073867&asid=e8f374d3c86680923d55e10def6160c1. Accessed 15 May 2017. Originally published in Inventing Maternity: Politics, Science, and Literature, 1650-1865, edited
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