Critical Essays onAnne Bradstreet.

Reading things over Bradstreet helped me get a feel of the kind of young women she was and also made me see that dreams do come true regardless of the circumstances and with them you can speak volumes and the whole world can be your witness.
The Beginning
Born Anne Dudley in 1612 in Northampton, England and later became Anne Bradstreet when she married Simon Bradstreet at the of 16 is known for becoming the first woman to ever publish poetry during the 17nth century.

I found this article in the Critical Essays on Anne Bradstreet collection.

In this article, Ann Stanford builds upon other scholars’ assertions that there exists a tension in American life and literature between the spiritual/religious (individual) and economic (state) development. Using a Historicist approach, Stanford employs close-readings of Bradstreet’s work as well as historical and biographical evidence to argue that Bradstreet’s work expresses many sets of tensions that fit into and extend scholars' assertions about American literature. In particular, Stanford argues that Bradstreet’s socio-economic status, status as poet, and personal feelings/fears (all elements of the individual) are in tension with social expectations and Puritan belief systems (both elements of the state) in her work. Stanford seems to be engaged in a much larger scholarly conversation about the importance of Anne Bradstreet to American literature as her argument is based on fitting Bradstreet into models of American literature created by other scholars. Stanford has published many pieces on Bradstreet including her 1975 text . In 1983, she coedited , a text that presented the major essays on Bradstreet up until that time and was the first text of its kind on Bradstreet. This essay, thus, seems to be part of a larger scholarly project to help bring critical attention to Bradstreet and promote scholarship on her. Stanford is widely cited as one of the earliest Bradstreet scholars (next to Elizabeth Wade White) and thus seems foundational to Bradstreet scholarship.


"Anne Bradstreet: A Woman Poet." CriticalEssays on Anne Bradstreet.

"Anne Bradstreet: 'In Criticks Hands'."CriticalEssays on Anne Bradstreet.

Variously defined as distinct philosophical approaches, complementary aesthetic strategies, or broad literary movements, realism and naturalism emerged as the dominant categories applied to American fiction of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Included under the broad umbrella of realism are a diverse set of authors, including Henry James, W. D. Howells, Mark Twain, Bret Harte, George Washington Cable, Rebecca Harding Davis, Sarah Orne Jewett, and Hamlin Garland. Often categorized as regionalists or local colorists, many of these writers produced work that emphasized geographically distinct dialects and customs. Others offered satirical fiction or novels of manners that exposed the excesses, hypocrisies, or shortcomings of a culture undergoing radical social change. A subsequent generation of writers, including Stephen Crane, Frank Norris, Theodore Dreiser, Edith Wharton, and Jack London, are most often cited as the American inheritors of the naturalist approach practiced by Emile Zola, whose 1880 treatise applied the experimental methods of medical science to the construction of the novel. Governed by a combination of heredity, environment, and chance, the typical characters of naturalist fiction find themselves constrained from achieving the transcendent goals suggested by a false ideology of romantic individualism. Over the past century, critics and literary historians have alternately viewed realist and naturalist texts as explicit condemnations of the economic, cultural, or ethical deficiencies of the industrialized age or as representations of the very ideological forces they purport to critique. Accordingly, an exploration of these texts raises important questions about the relationship between literature and society, and about our understanding of the “real” or the “natural” as cultural and literary phenomena. Though of little regard in the wake of the New Critics’ emphasis on metaphysics and formal innovation, a revived interest in realism as the American adaptation of an international movement aligned with egalitarian and democratic ideology emerged in the 1960s, as did an effort to redefine naturalist fiction as a more complex form belonging to the broader mainstream of American literary history. More recently, the emergence of deconstructive, Marxist, and new historicist criticism in the 1980s afforded a revised, and often skeptical, reevaluation of realism and naturalism as more conflicted forms, itself defined or constructed by hegemonic forces and offering insight into late-19th- and early-20th-century ideologies of class, race, and gender.


Anne Bradstreet (1612?-1672) - Georgetown University

(Richardson 106)

In the critical essay by Ann Standford, “Anne Bradstreet Dogmatist and Rebel,” she tells us that Anne Bradstreet “comforts herself with good Pur...


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Anne Bradstreet (1612?-1672) ..

I am uncertain whether I recommend this article. It is interesting and useful as a response to other early Bradstreet criticism, but there are a few issues as well. There is confusion at times between the chronological movement of the poem and the six patterns that Rosenfeld has identified, where he seems to want to begin with the beginning and end with the end of the poem, but his main organization is centered around the patterns that are not necessarily the same as the chronological movement. His close-reading is nuanced and well-done, but I am uncertain as to the usefulness of drawing a comparison between Bradstreet and the Romantics. Again, however, he was responding to major criticism of the time period, which seemed to want to legitimize Bradstreet by pointing out her similarities with Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, and Coleridge. I think it would be interesting overall, but I am not sure how useful it would be to the class.