How Authors Portray The Hardships Of Their Life In Literary Works

April 27, 2022 by Essay Writer

Hardships has been a part of our daily life since the early days. The early settlements each faced a difficult time which formed our new world. The hardships of each writer went through has affected the course of history that we know of today. The three writers that I have chosen are Anne Bradstreet, William Bradford, and Phillis Wheatley. Every writer has their unique views of the world that they lived in. As we try to walk in their shoe, we can imagine and experience the hardships during the early days.

Anne Bradstreet was the first woman to be recognized as an accomplished New World Poet (Martin, 1984). During her early days, Anne Bradstreet received her education taught by her father, Thomas Dudley. She married Simon Bradstreet at sixteen. Her husband was a recent graduate of Cambridge University and an assistant of Thomas Dudley. Bradstreet life completely changed when she and her husband emigrated to the United States. She faced numerous hardships such as her husband constantly being away for work, frequently getting sick, and lost one of her children. In one of her poem, “A Letter to Her Husband, Absent upon Public Employment” she described her husband is away while she stays at Ipswich maintaining the house as a house-wife.

Bradstreet wrote, “My head, my heart, mine eyes, my life, nay, more, my joy, my magazine of earthly store (Bradstreet, 1865).” She expressed her husband means a lot to her and he is her everything. She felt lonely while her husband is away for work. The world she lives is cold and dark without her husband present. She wrote, “Whom whilst I joyed, nor storms, nor frost I felt, his warmth such frigid colds did cause to melt (Bradstreet, 1865)”. She also indicates that it is hard for her to take care of their children while her children resemble much of their father’s image.

Between the years of 1633 and 1652, Bradstreet had eight children. Children come with great responsibility. As a Puritan, she struggled to overcome her attachment to the world, but as a woman she felt more connected to her lovely husband, and children than to God. In her poems, Bradstreet talks about the religious and emotional conflicts she experienced as a writer and as a puritan. Anne Bradstreet struggled with the issue of sin and redemption, physical and emotional frailty, death, and immortality (Martin, 1984).

William Bradford, the author of Plymouth Plantation. He was one of the founders of Plymouth Colony in 1620 in America. Bradford was born in Yorkshire, England. He came from an upper-middle class family. According to Levine, his father died when Bradford was an infant and his life changed when he heard of Richard Clyfton, a sermon and a Nonconformist minister in Scrooby, Nottinghamshire. Bradford joined the church despite his uncle and grandparents’ objection. After his joined the community, he met two men who influenced the remains of his life, William Brewster and John Robinson (Shuffelton, 1984). Bradford began writing of Plymouth Plantation in 1630.

From the book “of Plymouth Plantation,” many of the Pilgrims suffered from seasickness while they sail on the sea. The pilgrims faced a terrible situation when their sails halfway through journeys. One of the main beams cracked and making it unsettled for the ship to complete it journey. Bradford wrote, “They were encountered many times with cross winds, and met with many fierce storms, with which the ship was shroudly shaken, and her upper works made very leaky; and one of the main beams in the midships was bowed and cracked, which put them in some fear that the ship could not be able to perform the voyage.” When the pilgrims arrived in Cape Cod, realizing they did not have enough time to find a better place to settled in before the weather becomes colder. The pilgrims had to use logs to barricade for themselves as they get rested for night. Surviving in the winter without any proper set up, the pilgrims faced a miserable night.

They had to use whatever they can find to protect themselves without going into hypothermia. Bradford described, “Others were so weak and cold, they could not endure, but got ashore, and with ado got fire and the rest were glad to come to them, for after midnight the wind shifted to the northwest, and it froze hard.” With the lack of nutrition and proper accommodation, many pilgrims are getting sick and weak to survive in this terrible condition. Others are infected with infected with diseases and died without any medication.

Due to these problems, several healthy men stay up and assist the weak men to wash their laundry, fed them, clean them, pick up wood to make fire to keep them warm and comfortable and carry out other vital tasks to keep them alive. “The Plymouth Colony struggled with famine and disease from the beginning. Initially, they relied on the resources they brought with them and those received from England via supply ships”, according to Sasser. Without any doubt, the pilgrims demonstrate the ability to work as a unit and push through these difficult times. Each men on board did their own duty to keep the flow going.

Phillis Wheatley the first black woman and the second woman to publish a book of poems. Wheatley originated from Gambia, Africa. She was sold a slave in 1761 to John Wheatley and transported to America by a ship name called “Phillis.” When the Wheatley found out, she has incredible talents, they provide her education which includes reading and writing. The Wheatley family taught her English and Latin as well. At the time only a few white women were allowed to have an education. John Milton, Alexander Pope, and Thomas Gray who strongly influenced her verse when she came to know the Bible (Levine, 1865). Wheatley’s reputation grew quickly when her Poems On Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, consisting of 39 poems, was published in England under the sponsorship of the Countess of Huntingdon (Wheatley, 1955). She became widely famous after her poems was published in Europe and in America.

Phillis Wheatley life changed significantly when she was called back to Boston. Wheatley was granted manumission in 1773 (Levine, 1865). It devastated her when she heard the Wheatley family members are dying. Susanna Wheatley died in 1774 and four years later, John Wheatley died in 1778. She married John Peter in 1778, a free black man from Boston (Michals, 2015). Peter was nothing but a normal person and the Wheatleys did not like him according to Levine. Wheatley gave birth to three children but none of them survived unfortunately. In order to maintain her family, Wheatley worked as a scrubwoman in a boardinghouse while continuing to write poetry (Michals, 2015).

She failed to publish her second book of poems and eventually most of her works are lost. However, Wheatley’s poetry was rediscovered in the 1830 by the New England abolitionists (Levine, 1865). Her works had sparked many critics argued for the boldness and originality of Wheatley’s criticisms of slavery and oppression in many forms (Reising, 1991). Phillis Wheatley died with relative poverty.

In her poem, “On Being Brought from Africa to America” she is describing her being split from her native country and being forcibly emigrate to America.

‘Twas mercy brought me from my Pagan land,

Taught my benighted soul to understand

That there’s a God, that there’s a Savior too:

Once I redemption neither sought nor knew,

Some view our sable race with scornful eye,

‘Their color is a diabolic die.’

Remember, Christians, Negroes, black as Cain,

May be refined, and join the angelic train. (Wheatley 1-4)

She describes being a slavery has led her to become Christianity. In her pagan land, she never knew or fought for redemption until her arrival in America. She also aware that there’s a God, that there’s a savior too. She explained that anyone can be converted into Christianity even the negroes.

Every writer has their own unique style of writing their own poems that expressing the hardships they have been through in the early days. The difficult times when the love of your life was absent by your side and how lonely it can be. The time when the travelers’ sails through the sea and faced an awful weather that nearly destroyed their ship. At that time, the pilgrims are low on foods and sickness took over many of the man. Lastly, the shattering news when losing family members. Each writer fought through the hard time and accomplished their dream of becoming a writer which made them famous because of the works being published.


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