Compare and Contrast
Conventional writers explored different literary styles with which they presented their pieces of literature. These were usually influenced by the degree of knowledge and skills that they had in the same as well as their experience. Usually, experienced writers explored more diversified styles as compared to those with limited experience. The emergence of women writers during the fifteenth century can be considered a major step in the domains of poetry. Traditional women writers such as Bradstreet provided a pacesetter for other women writers who explored different themes in their pieces of literature.
Fundamentally, the then society did not provide ambient conditions for women to explore literary circles. Nevertheless, the efforts that they made in this were significant and their pieces of work are currently categorized as classics. It is in this regard that this paper provides an explicit comparison of conventional writers Anne Bradstreet and Phillis Wheatley. In particular it underscores the various differences and similarities between Wheatley’s “On Being Brought from Africa to America” and Bradstreet’s “Upon the Burning of our House”. To enhance a more coherent approach, the essay begins by evaluating the different conditions that influenced their writing.
Unlike Bradstreet, Wheatley was cited to have been taught about writing skills by her daughter. In addition, it can be ascertained that having started writing after several women writers had made major inventions in this field of specification; Wheatley’s poems are more diversified than Bradstreet’s. Further, there are inherent differences with regard to influences that prompted both writers to explore this field. Notably, Bradstreet had a religious background and most of her poems have been cited to be based on religious morals. However, Wheatley with regard to the poem under review was influenced by the hardship experiences that she faced earlier in life. Despite the underlying differences, both poems explore the themes of persistence and are inspirational in nature. They lay greater emphasis on the positive aspects of the adversities that they grapple with.
Further, it is certain that both poets derive their themes from natural experiences. In this respect, Wheatley’s theme revolves around slavery in the past and the painful experiences that the Black Americans went through. This is a historic phenomenon in the American society and indeed, it can be ascertained that the implications on the African Americans were far reaching. Bradstreet on the other hand explores the probable episode of one’s house burning down. She provides an explicit analysis of the feelings that the individual is bound to experience. As indicated earlier, it is notable that besides the poets concentrating on themes that have adverse effects on human wellbeing, they highlight the positive effects that are related to this. In this regard, Wheatley implies that the slavery experience was enlightening. It is because it enabled the same to have a better understanding of vital values and virtues that are associated with religion. In other words, it was an eye opener and she insists that it took her from darkness to light.
Bradstreet on the other hand contends that although the loss of material property can put an individual in a state of desperation, the fact that there are better living conditions in heaven need to be a source of solace to this particular individual. In this respect, both authors assume a optimistic tone as opposed to a pessimistic one. Of great reference is the fact that, just like Bradstreet, Wheatley also appreciates the role of the Higher Power and can therefore be considered to be religious too.
Besides themes, the poets also explore different stylistic and literary devices in their work. Just like Wheatley, Bradstreet uses rhyme to create a specific rhythm in her poem. The resultant musical rhythm has a significant impact on the audience. Not only does it make the reader to enjoy the poem, but it also makes the same remember the information that is being relayed by the same. Rhythmic expressions in “Upon the Burning of a House” include look and took, just and dust and mine and repine. The rhythm is attained through an inherent sense of repetition that makes it possible for the reader to remember the words with ease. This remembrance is important as the audience can have a chance to contemplate the message of the poem at any particular time.
Unlike Wheatley, Bradstreet employs direct repetition in her poem. This is used to emphasize the different themes that she explores. For example, the phrase “Adieu, Adieu, all’s vanity” seeks to inform the reader that the material wealth is not important. In this regard, it is also an important marker of change of tone by the poet. Most importantly, the repetition has an impact on the feelings of the audience and makes the same respond to the poem accordingly. Literary critics ascertain that this is important and is often at the center stage of most literary works.
With regard to the structure, it can be ascertained that both poets maintain a simple structure and use simple words to enhance the understanding the poem by the audience. Although the Bradstreet’s poem is relatively longer, it still maintains a simple structure and uses short sentences to economize words. This prevents incidences of the poem being wordy. It is a writing style that is typical of poetry and therefore accredits the both pieces of literary works. Regardless of the fact that the poets employ simple words and short sentences, they succeed in passing on the messages that they wish to. Examples of these in Bradstreet’s poem include e’eer and ‘twas.
The two poets employ the first hand persona’s to present to the audience their feelings and concepts. The articles “I” and “My” are employed in both instances to relay vital information to the audience. Through this, the respective audiences are in position to understand the experiences of the authors. Further, it is worth acknowledging that both authors employ different images to enable the audience to understand their different implications. For instance, Bradstreet succeeds in presenting to the audience an ideal depiction of the physical characteristics of heaven. Heaven in this regard is portrayed as a place that is wealthy and has innumerable resources. These are expensive and financed entirely by God. The employment of the first person point of view also has significant impact on the audience as it enables the same to create an image of the experience of the persona. Likewise, this is imperative as it evokes certain emotions and feelings that enable the audience to respond accordingly to the message that is contained in the poem.
The poets’ choice of words is also distinctive and imperative in relaying different meanings as well as sentiments to the audience. At the beginning of the poem, Bradstreet exhibits an attachment to her material possessions. However, the employment of the word rase implies that regardless of having lost all her possessions, she still trusts that she would get the same back because it belongs to God. According to her belief, God d the sole owner of all the possessions and considering the fact that she deeply trusts in her, she would possibly be able to get the same back. The employment of the word “gift” in reference to God also implies that the Persona in Bradstreet’s “Upon the Burning of our House” believes that God is the sole owner of all the possessions. Comparatively, Wheatley’s choice of words such as ‘remember’ seeks to evoke certain feelings in the audience. Essentially, this enables the audience to develop certain images that pertain to the slavery experiences that the author went through.
Poetry is a form of literature that was initiated during ancient times. The entry of women in this field of specification had various implications on their participation in literary circles. Regardless of the fact that the pursued this as a part time activity, they were still able to explore various themes. As it has come out from the review, the two poets employ different styles, structure and explore varied themes. To some extent, they also employ similar stylistic devices in relaying different messages to the audience. They at some point also explore similar themes such as religion and persistence. At this point, it can be contended that the two poets succeed in presenting to the audience classic pieces of literature that is timeless.