American Literature

Download PDF by Douglas Anderson: A House Undivided: Domesticity and Community in American

By Douglas Anderson

ISBN-10: 052110730X

ISBN-13: 9780521107303

An entire variety of yankee writers have involved in pictures of loved ones, household advantage, and the female or feminized hero. this crucial new e-book examines the endurance and adaptability of such subject matters within the paintings of vintage writers from Ann Bradstreet via Jefferson and Franklin to Hawthorne, Melville, Whitman, and Emily Dickinson. with no minimizing the diversities that divide those figures, Anderson indicates the level to which, of their a number of situations, they have been all dedicated to a standard enterprise--a social and cultural reconstruction according to the household values of the right inner most loved ones.

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One simply opens one's humanity to God, and to the greatest extent possible one celebrates it. Taylor's confidence in God's closeness is at least as critical to the shape his poetry takes as is his awe at God's power. 36 Taylor's own wonderfully comfortable relations with God are by no means paradisal. He remained a crumb of dust, a bag of botches, a purse of naughtiness. But in this colloquial vocabulary of degradation, the intimacy of the family thrives. 11 TO BE GREAT AND DOMESTIC" The familial vision with which John Winthrop identified the Puritan errand finds complex ways of asserting its influence even within the single intellectual and spiritual tradition of New England Puritanism.

Not even the convention of poetic humility or a calculated simplicity, however, could disguise Bradstreet's immense satisfaction in her domestic roles. The images from "In Reference to Her Children," for example, are in one sense unsophisticated, but in the context of the whole poem its seriousness of purpose as well as its simplicity of means - they are fondly playful. The innocence of its primary metaphor does not trivialize the emotions expressed but serves instead as a constant, gentle reminder of a parent's vulnerability through her children: O would my young, ye saw my breast, And knew what thoughts there sadly rest, Great was my pain when I you bred, Great was my care when I you fed, Long did I keep you soft and warm, And with my wings kept off all harm, My cares are more and fears than ever, My throbs such now as 'fore were never.

Bradstreet's relationship to the tradition involves more subtle exploitation of the domestic metaphors upon which Winthrop based his model, but Bradstreet too is able to turn the dramatic nature of Moses' farewell and the typological posture of Eve into the substance of a personal drama the outcome of which like the fate of Winthrop's own appeal to his people - is invested with a potent mixture of hope and uncertainty. This peculiarly intense degree of insecurity, compressed into a domestic setting, is very much the hallmark of Puritan experience and writing, but it continues to appear in a surprising array of forms throughout the work of the nonecclesiastical writers of the eighteenth century.

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A House Undivided: Domesticity and Community in American Literature by Douglas Anderson

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