Rowlandson & Bradstreet
Part I: Rowlandson
Read the introduction to Mary Rowlandson and her abduction. Then discuss and respond to the following questions.
1. What was the reason for the Indian raids (King Philip’s War)? What was the advantage for the Indians? How about for the English? In other words, what did each side want?
2. Three of Rowlandson’s children are written about in her narrative. Tell what you know about each of them, their circumstances and her interaction with them.
4. Rowlandson was not the only one starving or without shelter. Describe the general conditions for her and her captors. Cite factual, concrete details from the narrative.
5. Rowlandson is offered a pipe by King Philip (the head of the tribe). How does she respond to his offer and what are her reasons? Did her understanding of the effects of tobacco (in the early 1600s) surprise you? Explain.
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Part 2: Bradstreet
Read the introduction to Anne Bradstreet first. Then discuss and respond to the following questions.
1. How does Bradstreet feel about the possibility that her poems will be considered at a level of quality with the respected male writers of her time? How do you feel about her attitude?
2. [Upon the Burning of …] What are some of the specific losses that Bradstreet dwells on in the first half of the poem?
3. A home is more than material goods. What are the intangible human things that her house held (lines 29-34). Why do you think she laments over these things as none of them actually perished?
4. There are two places in this poem where Bradstreet chides [scolds] herself. What is her purpose? What is the larger message [theme] for not only herself but also for her readers?
5. [Before the Birth…] In this poem, the speaker addresses her husband, reminding him that death is irrevocable and inevitable for all things in this world. Why do you think she dwells on death at this time in her life that is most commonly associated with joy?
6. What does Bradstreet want to be buried with her? What does she hope will be kept in memory after her death?