Anne Bradstreet and Counter Culture

Presenter Information

BeLynn Hollers, Collin CollegeFollow

Academic Level

2-year school


Conference Room E

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Apr 12th, 2:30 PM Apr 12th, 3:45 PM

Anne Bradstreet and Counter Culture

Conference Room E


Through close readings of Anne Bradstreet, the first American poet, questions surfaced about the importance of Bradstreet’s tile and pioneer-ship. Even though many scholar’s divide Bradstreet in order to understand her poetry and in their operation within their lenses; the paper challenges the productive value of those lenses through the creation of a more productive one. The lens of counter-culture defines attitudes displayed within the confines of its dominant culture. In other words, counter-culture doesn’t completely disregard the societal circumstances of the dominant culture therefore, operating within and resisting areas of the culture internally. The examination and reading through this lens opens up Bradstreet’s poems, allowing for discovery into ideas that accept her as a whole rather then divide her spiritual, social, and political views. This type of evaluation in regards to Bradstreet’s work reflects the arguments of many scholars however, this definition births new realities of who and what Bradstreet is. The paper will utilize a modern word to combine Bradstreet in place of division; which many scholar’s favor. Therefore, ideas such as Bradstreet through the lens of counter-culture reveals her identity in conjunction with gender as transgressive, are given opportunity to breathe in an alternative format. Through close readings of her poems the paper will reveal Bradstreet’s actions that resist the “either/or” argument made by many scholars hence, allowing the counter-culture lens to explore Bradstreet as “both/and.”

Keywords: Pioneer, counter-culture, feminism, Puritan, American poetry,

Working Bibliography

Giffen, Allison "Let no man know":Negotiating the Gendered Discourse of Affliction in Anne Bradstreet's "Here Followes Some Verses Upon the Burning of Our House, July 10th, 1666" Legacy: A Journal for American Women Writers. Vol, 27. PP 1-22 No.8.10 Project MUSE, Doi: muse.jhu.edu/article/381344.

Hall, Louisa. “The Influence of Anne Bradstreet’s Innovative Errors” Early American Literature, Vol. 48 No.1, 2013, pp,1-27 Project Muse Doi: http://doi.org/10.1353/eal.2013.0008

Henton, Alice. “‘Once Masculines... Now Feminines Awhile’: Gendered Imagery and the Significance of Anne Bradstreet's ‘The Tenth Muse.’” The New England Quarterly, vol. 85, no. 2, 2012, pp. 302–325. www.jstor.org/stable/23251813

O'Kell, Robert. “The Victorian Counter-Culture: An Interdisciplinary Conference.” Victorian Studies, vol. 17, no. 4, 1974, pp. 431–435. www.jstor.org/stable/3826291.

Roberts, Keith A. “Toward a Generic Concept of Counter-Culture.” Sociological Focus, vol. 11, no. 2, 1978, pp. 111–126. www.jstor.org/stable/20831076

Schweitzer, Ivy. "Anne Bradstreet Wrestles with The Renaissance." Early American Literature

23.3 (1988): 291. Literary Reference Center. Vol. 23 Issue 3, p291, 22p Doi: http://library.collin.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lfh&AN=5424022&site=ehost-live