Discussion post:

How would you describe the relationship these three authors (Bradford, Bradstreet and Taylor) have with God?  Trusting, frightened, grateful, confident, or????  Illustrate your remarks with support from the reading.

William Bradford (1590-1657)


Introduction: p. 142

Chapters 9 & 10: pp. 150-157

Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672)


Introduction: 185

“The Prologue” 188-9

“The Author to Her Book” 199

“Before the Birth of One of Her Children” 199

“To My Dear and Loving Husband” 200

“A Letter to Her Husband, Absent Upon Public Employment” 201

Edward Taylor (1642-1729)


Introduction:  280-1

“Upon a Spider Catching a Fly” 290-2

“Huswifery” 292

250 words.

  1. response to my classmate post

Beginning with Bradford, he has something of a trusting relationship with God in that he trusts God to ultimately present a just outcome. This is initially demonstrated through the demise of the young and profane man who went overboard which was interpreted by the crew as the “just hand of God”(150) that he would suffer the very curses he placed on other persons. Likewise but in the opposite direction, when the crew chose to place their faith in God and ended up running into danger they maintained their perseverance and safely escaped; something that Bradford attributes to “God’s providence”(151) or in other words that God was kind to them. Considering how he previously mentioned how the crew “committed them selves to the will of God”(151) then it can reasonably be inferred that Bradford believes their safe escape was a result of the crew’s faith and therefore that God could not only be trusted to punish bad persons but reward the good ones too.

However, Bradstreet chooses to take things even further. Rather than take a more distanced view of God, by which I mean how Bradford talks about God in a way that acknowledges as though He were a neighbor or coworker rather than a close friend or family member, Bradstreet takes a borderline casual tone like the kind a couple might have after they have been married for a  number of decades. She demonstrates this most explicitly with the lines “If ever two were one, then surely we. If ever man were loved by wife, then thee”(200) and while I do not believe it is intended to be taken literally, it does nonetheless illustrate that she believes her relationship with God is comparable to one of the most intimate forms of relationships anyone can experience.

Finally, in a tone comparable to Bradford, Taylor presents a trusting relationship with God that even edges the border to reverent. Initially he shows this by praising the Lord for breaking the “Cord”, which appears to be Satan’s influence on the world, thereby allowing humanity the chance to be free and live in glory (291-292). Taylor further demonstrates this mindset in how he plainly asks the Lord to make him His tool for God to work through(292). Essentially, he is going further than simply trusting God but actively prostrating before him in both awe of what he believes God can do and in a desire to do whatever he can to help.

Write a 100-150 words response.

  1. (make sure write where is this quote from into beginning of explanation) (you can find a quote from reading in first assignment).

Students will choose a short excerpt / quote from one of the readings of that week, type it in, then add a short (150 words or so) explanation for your choice. Was your selection important because it:

  • is an example of beautiful or striking language?
  • exemplifies a particular theme or character?
  • makes the reader think about something in a new way?
  • reflects a particular aspect of French culture?
  • was just something that you liked?

For example:

“Whoever gets knowledge from God, science,

and a talent for speech, eloquence,

Shouldn’t shut up or hide away;

No, that person should gladly display.”  Marie de France

In the opening lines to the Prologue to the Lays, Marie de France is providing her readers with an explanation for writing these stories down.  This is a very common and traditional rhetorical move informing readers about the ethos or qualifications of the speaker.  In this case, Marie is claiming that she is knowledgeable and eloquent and that these gifts come from God and therefore should be used.  I think it goes further than that; Marie, like most women of her day,* would have been expected to “shut up” and “hide away” as a matter of course, since women’s voices were not welcomed in the public sphere.  By opening her work in this way, she preempts criticism about the appropriateness of her authorship.

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