Word Choice And Tone In Bradstreet's "The Author To Her Book"

1066 words - 4 pages

After reading "The Author to her Book," it helps to know about the author's background. Anne Bradstreet wrote this poem after she had received her recently published book. The problem was that she did not want her book published. In her eyes, it was unfinished and full of mistakes. In the poem, she treats the book as a child and uses a satirical tone. Her choice of words and tone are very important to the theme of the poem. Some readers, mainly logical, would think that the author is simply talking about a child. The truth is that she is talking about her recently finished book. Bradstreet shows a mixture of emotions toward what just happened.
The poem starts by speaking of a child. An "ill-formed" (1) child is mentioned. This indicates that her book was not fully developed. It was full of mistakes. It was a child "of my feeble brain," (1) meaning she obviously wrote the book herself and she believes her brain was weak. Next, Bradstreet states, "Who after birth did'st by my side remain," (2) meaning that she kept the book after it was finished. Her word choice here shows that she was not very happy with the way her book turned out. She wanted to keep it from the publishers so she could fix it over time. "Till snatched from thence by friends." (3) This statement shows a bit of anger in the tone. Bradstreet uses the word "snatched" (3) to show her slight anger. She knew that her friends had taken her book, but she knew that it was not a good idea. They wanted to do something nice for her, but she was not ready for this step of the book. She expresses this by saying they were "less wise than true." (3) "Exposed to public view" (4) indicates that they had the book published for her. "Where errors were not lessened, all may judge." (6)This line shows a tone of regret. I believe that Anne Bradstreet was regretful for letting her friends get a hold of her unfinished book. She also expresses a tone of slight fear. She is afraid that others will judge the book because of all the errors in it rather than focusing on the content of the book.
"At thy return my blushing was not small, / My rambling brat (in print) should mother call." (7-8) These two lines show her embarrassment of the book. She was obviously not ready for the book to be expressed to the public, and she was mortified at the amount of mistakes she had made. She was ashamed to call it her book, and symbolized it as a "brat" (8) in her poem. She sees it as an ill-disciplined child for leaving her sight. "Yet being mine own, at length affection would / Thy blemishes amend, if so I could: / I washed thy face, but more defects I saw, / And rubbing off a spot, still made a flaw." (11-14) Bradstreet sees her book as a child that only a mother could love. She wanted to revise the book, but while she was reading the published copy, in her mind making changes, she only came across more problems. She...

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