How Puritan Anne describes the burning of her house in her famous poem?
Next, Anne starts to have flashbacks of her house before it burned down. It is in here when we see her longing for the things she has lost which is something that goes against Puritan faith because Puritans are not supposed to get attached to the earthly things.
In the fifth stanza, we can see how the tone of the poem is more negative. The first four lines of this stanza start with a “No” or “Nor” and describe the different things she will no longer be able to do in her house. This literary device is called anaphora (repetition of words at the beginning of successive verses). The feeling of sorrow that Bradstreet portrays in here makes the reader understand her situation better and empathize with her. She concludes this stanza with an allusion to Ecclesiastes 1: “all’s vanity,” declaring that all possessions are artificial.
In the next stanza, there is one allusion in line 40 with the words “arm of flesh” which are found in many passages of the bible. It describes how people become full of vanity and forget that after all, they are human. From line 37, the tone and perspective of the text change dramatically, since Anne goes from feeling sorry about her loss to thinking about all the good things that await for her in heaven (this idea of salvation and paradise is really important in Puritan faith as heaven is the ultimate goal for any Puritan).
The poem continues with the most obvious allusion in line 43 to Heb 11:10 “house on high erect” which talks about how those who are saved will have a place for them in heaven, built by God. This is why Anne convinces herself that there is no use in feeling sorry about her loss because she has a better place waiting for her in heaven. This part of the text is also contradictory since she had previously stated that material goods are something that God does not like, but we see her describing God’s house as “richly furnished.”
The poem concludes with Anne reflecting on the belongings she has lost. We can see in the tone of the last 6 lines that she is really upset, but at the same time, she tries to convince herself that God will eventually give her everything she needs and that none of this will matter when she gets to heaven.