Mr. Jeff Hardin
23 September 2018
Self Against the Community
Throughout the historic period, there were several great works of writing that had been produced and they had similar themes, such as self against the community. Though they seem to have the same theme, they sided on different ideas when it came to self against the community. For instance, Anne Bradstreet’s writings were more focused around the self-side and John Winthrop is more on the community side.
Anne Bradstreet was a woman poet in the seventeenth century who was recognized as a true Puritan and one of America’s greatest poets. “The Prologue” is one of Bradstreet’s most intellectually stimulating poems because she uses a historical and global context. The poem contains allusions to the Greeks, Christianity, feminism, and psychology. “The Prologue” portrays the struggles of being a woman in a Puritan society. Anne Bradstreet realized that in a Puritan society, women were not meant to speak their mind and have strong opinions. In this poem, she acknowledges her role as a woman in society even if she doesn’t agree with it. She shows her recognition of men’s superiority in that time period with this line: “Men can do best, and women know it well”. Anne Bradstreet lived in a time where women were meant to keep quiet and tend to their children and home. The statement “Let Greeks be Greeks, and women what they are” was a plea for people to realize that women are very capable despite the control of patriarchy and Puritanism.
John Winthrop was one of the major leaders of the first Puritan settlement in the United States. He believed that his soul was specifically chosen by God to be saved, and this led him to become a part of the Puritanical movement in England. Winthrop’s ‘A Model of Christian Charity’ presents a deeply religious idea about how the Puritans should treat one another in order to ensure the survival of their colony. In his writing he starts by saying “God Almighty in his most holy and wise providence, hath so disposed of the Condition of mankind, as in all times some must be rich, some poor, some high and eminent in power and dignity: others mean in subjection.” He’s stating that God wants everyone to work together. Winthrop makes it clear that they all must do what God wants and help one another in any way possible, share with one another and function as a community that realizes that if one Puritan has a problem, it is a problem of every puritan in the colony. Another line states “We must love brotherly without dissimulation; we must love one another with a pure heart fervently. We must bear one another’s burthens. We must not look only on our own things.” (Jamie).
John Winthrop believed that the rich must show mercy to the poor, poor must do justice to the rich, and rich should view riches from a gift from god. He states that the Puritans must keep their covenant with God because it is morally right, because they are going to be an example for the rest of the world to follow, and because failing to keep their covenant would lead to the withdrawal of God’s protection and their own destruction. John Winthrop emphasizes unity and includes himself in the community.
Anne Bradstreet and John Winthrop were both puritans who helped in the establishment of the Massachusetts Bay Company. They both start their work with a plea to their community (Allison). The difference between their pleas is that Anne Bradstreet’s plea is she wants women to be equal with men. John Winthrop’s plea was for everyone to work with each other to praise God. Another difference was that John Winthrop got taken seriously, to where Anne Bradstreet did not get taken seriously because she was a female poet.
Allison. http://english461.ucalgaryblogs.ca/2016/01/20/winthrop-and-bradstreet-appeals-to-their-audiences/. 20 January 2016.
Jamie, Brummit L. jamiebrummitt.com. 2015.
“A Model of Christian Charity.” Topics, Sample Papers & Articles Online for Free, 28 Aug 2016, https://studymoose.com/a-model-of-christian-charity-essay