Books and Movies Reviews

Bradstreet vs. Wheatley

Anne Bradstreet vs. Phillis Wheatley
"If ever two were one, then surely we (Bradstreet, 1) 1…" "Celestial choir Enthron'd in realms of light (Wheatley, 1) 2…" So began two well-known poems by two well-known poets. In the poem "To My Dear and Loving Husband", Anne Bradstreet used writing techniques unique to the Puritan era. Consequently, Phillis Wheatley approached her poem "To His Excellency, General Washington" in fashion of the Age of Reason. Even though the two women were born over 150 years apart, they were both landmark writers. Their poetry was drastically different: one drew on biblical references and used simple language; the other used philosophical meaning and poetic devices. Although, undoubtedly, Bradstreet and Wheatley were two epitomic writers of their respective times, Phillis Wheatley's poetry was more thoughtful and stylish than the poetry of Anne Bradstreet.
Thefirst major difference between the two styles of writing came from the use of writing techniques. On one hand, Anne Bradstreet exemplified the'Puritan Plain Style' in "To My Dear and Loving Husband." Bradstreet did not use any extra language that was not necessary. Instead, her lyric is purely straight forward, and to the point: "If ever man were lov'd by wife, then thee (2)." On another hand, Phillis Wheatley used a variety of devices in "To His Excellency, General Washington", which was commonly seen during the'Age of Reason' For example, she used alliteration. In the seventh line of that poem, she said, "See the bright beams of heaven's revolving light". In another line, she alliterated "Thy ev'ry action let the goddess guide (40)." Another device Wheatley used was personification. She compared America to the goddess, Columbia: "She flashes dreadful in refulgent arms (3)" and "For in their hopes…

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