A review of Anne Bradstreet’s poem, Prologue.
This paper examines how, in Anne Bradstreet’s “Prologue”, the speaker is a woman who is trying to overcome the stereotype of women as homemakers and is demonstrating her own knowledge and artistic ability. It attempts to show how, in a man’s world, the difficulties faced by a talented and knowledgeable woman to get attention or respect for doing something out of her social norm; this is the main theme for this poem. It also shows how, through the use of figurative language and allusions, the speaker effectively displays her feelings, thoughts, and emotions.
The mental setting of the poem is the speaker’s thoughts and realizations about her skill as a writer and the lack of attention that she receives for it, If what I do prove well, it won’t advance, they’ll say it’s stol’n or else it was by chance (29-30). Throughout the poem the mood is condescending because the speaker is lowering herself by thinking the same way that society does, and the mental setting relates to the mood as a result of her thinking that way. Figurative language and imagery are used all through this poem to convey theme. For example, mean pen is personified and explains that the speaker’s pen is humble according to the narrator (3). In addition to personification, also present in the poem are examples of irony: fluent sweet tongued Greek (19).