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Admiration of Anne Bradstreets

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Admiration of Anne Bradstreets

Admiration of Anne Bradstreets values as compared to those of Ben Franklin and Johnathan Edwards

The relationships that people have with others has a severe impact on that person's life, albeit many are good, some, though, are bad. How we choose to form, maintain and use these relationships is up to us, just as what they mean is up to us too. I will show the relationships of some writers and how they treat others, as an important value to me. Three writers of our era, Benjamin Franklin, Jonathan Edwards, and Anne Bradstreet are most notable with their relationships with people.

My thoughts on Benjamin Franklin's work were unfortunatly on the negative side. To sum his writings up, they were long, boring and not concise. His writing varied heavily. He was known for writing on one topic and then changing to another then skipping to yet another. The following paragragh is an exerpt of his writing's to show the long, varied writings that changed from subject to subject:

'I have been the more particular in this Description of my Journey, and shall be so of my first Entry into that City, that you may in your mind compare such an unlikely Beginning with the Figure I have since made there. I was in my working Dress, my best Clothes being to come round by sea. I was dirty from my journey; my pockets were stuff'd out with shirts and stockings; I knew no Soul, nor where to look for lodging. I was fatigu'dwith Traveling, Rowing and Want of Rest. I was very hungry, and my whole stock of cashconsisted of a Dutch Dollar and and about a Shilling in Copper. The latter I gave the People of the Boat for my Passage, who at first refused it on Account of my Rowing; but I insisted on their taking it, a Man being sometimes more generous when he has but a little Money than when he has plenty, perhaps thro' the Fear of Being thought to have but a little. Then I walked up the Street' gazing about, till near the Market House I met a boy with bread'' (p. 241)

Because of the skipping around, to often unrelated topics, it is very difficult to pay attention, read and keep straight as to what is Franklin's point. One could almost call the style of writing a form of rambling.

From Franklin's work one is able to deduce that he is a good man with good intention and is a upbeat and optimistic person but he doesn't really care for people and treats them like object and tools. He basically uses people to get ahead and uses people for favors. For example he loves his brother, supposedly, but he used his brother to pay for his boarding so he could be out of the way and not cause problems for all the other is nthe household. He does does have his faults with people, and that is he trusts people too much. He has too much faith in people and whether that is because of his deist ways, and how he looks at things in the world,and through reason. His trust in people and things often leads him into small troubles. His drunken friend Collins borrowed much money from Franklin promising to pay it back. Of course, it was never payed back. If one recalls how Franklin got to America it was because of using the abilities and powers of soe of his friends. Another point of the real problems that Franklin had with people and relationships is the entire relationship that he had with Miss Read. The only thing that he wanted from the marriage was some money from the parents. Franklin was willing to use Miss read for getting money from her parents. When they refuse to give it to him he first suggested to mortgage the house, and when he knew that that wouldn't be done he basically left them and Miss Read.

Jonathan Edwards looks on life as a chance to serve God. He serves God by working hard and not doing things that would be considered bad by a Puritan (ie. fun, drinking, dancing, and parties.) He believes just like other Puritans that life should be dedicated strictly to God. The main idea to understand from Puritans is that when they believe that they are beginning to understand the Bible, they are beginning to understand the Word of God. Understanding the word of God means to Puritans that God is dwelling within them, which then, in turn, means that they are one of the chosen few who are saved. In order to ensure that he is one of the few to be saved Edward's must demean others so that they get the idea that they aren't saved and only Edwards is saved.

The only thing that Edwards values early in his life is salvation. He must have salvation. He believes he has been saved too and he goes on to point this out:

'From the about that time I began to have a new kind of apprehensions and Ideas of Christ, and the works of redemption, and the glorious way of salvationby Him. I had an inward, sweet sense of these things, that at timescame into my heart; and my soulwas led away in pleasant views and contmplations of them. And my mind was greatly engages to spend my time in reading and meditating in Christ, and the beauty and excellency of his perso, and the lovely way of salvation, by free grace in Him.' (p.178)

The writings in the bible he can now understand. The way he looks at nature and how his whole way of thinking has been changed proves in his mind and would in any other Puritans mind that the Lord is with him. When a Puritan sees that any of these things have happened he may begin to believe that he is saved. When Edwards looked around after knowing about his salvation all he he was able to see was a corrupt sinners.

Edward's midlife was a transitional period. There in the transitional period he learned about life and the dwelling of God in nature, in all things. He took notice to nature which eventually led, though prayer and meditation, to the newer Edwards who attempted to help people. His attitude toward them still remained basically the same but as one of the chosen he tried to save more people and to spread the word of God. The attempts to save people are most notably seen through the sermons that he gives, his most famous being the one entitled 'Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God'

Edwards later in his life changed a bit and he thought that he understood God and his will. What really changed is that he seemed to care, maybe even if it was just a little, about his fellow man. Although he still went out and preached to people, gave his sermons and basically told people that they were worth very little and didn't really care about them, he was out there in the public trying to save them and to tell them that even though God can and should let us burn in hell he doesn't let us all go to hell, he does pick out a few who have been exceptionally well. Those few whom He has chosen are saved.

The Edward's whole point in the sermons is to scare other people people and get them to mend their ways in some possible feable attempt to achieve salvation.

Anne Bradstreet while not perfect in her own right is the probably the most alike me. She values most the relationships in her life, but she has trouble with her relationships because of the social pressure. For example in hint of difficulties in relationships can be seen as she writes:

'Thou speak'stme fair, but hat'st me sore,

Thy flatt'ering shows I'll trust mo more,

How oft thy slave, hast thou me made,

When I believed what thou hast said,

And never had more cause of woe,

Than when I did what thou bad'st do,'(p.128)

It refers to the difficulties between the flesh and the spirit of her body. It said that the flesh had spoken highly of the spirit but her actions spoke much louder, and it was quite the opposite.

Bradstreet values her relationships more but is confused because of her devotion to God.

Her God who had given her everything can at any time take it away, and Bradstreet realizes this but can't help but be saddened. She looses a house and she can handle it because as she so elequantly put it 'Yet by His gift is made thine own; There's wealth enough I need no more, Farewell, my pelf, farewell my store.'(p. 133) She knows that all the things that she really needs are in heaven and that can't be taken away from her. 'The world no longer let me love, My hope and treasure lies above.' (p.134)

Somewhat of a problem with Bradstreet is her attactment with some of her aquaintances. She is really attached to her granddaughter for example. Bradstreet's relationships mean very much to her, and in the peom about the death of her granddaughter, Bradstreet shows her weakness with people and relationships

'Blest babe, why should I once bewail thy fate, or sigh thy days so soon were terminate, Sith thou art settled in an everlasting state.'(p. 132). Yet regardless of what society thinks of Bradstreet or the relationsips she still cherishes them with all her heart.

I feel that Anne Bradstreet is most like me because I am all for the relationships in life. The relationships that I make and have are what make me. I don't treat people like objects and use them to get ahead in life. Nor do I just hate people and think that everyone else is a corrupt individual out to make themselves look good in fromt of God.

I am confused with my spiritual self just like she is. And just like bradstreet with the loss of her grandchild she was terribly sad, so am I with the move to college and my slowing communication with my old best group of friends. <...

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