Anne Bradstreet was one of the few extraordinary females who earned a place with the male writers of the seventeenth century. Bradstreet’s upbringing had a vast amount to do with the way she was educated. Her father gave her the advantage of good tutoring. Having open access to a library full of books quickly made reading one of her favorite past times and she took an interest in the poets of the past. This interest of Bradstreet’s helped her write touching poetry that is still read today.
Anne Bradstreet’s “The Prologue” depicts Bradstreet’s opinion on the role women played in a male-ridden society during the seventeenth century and reveals her feelings about being one of the first female writers during a time where they were scarce. Anne Bradstreet had become especially fond of poetry through her mother’s actions, which she had begun to write herself; her works were kept private though, as it was frowned upon for women to pursue intellectual enlightenment, let alone create and air their views and opinions.
She wrote for herself, her family, and close circle of educated friends, and did not intend on publication. However, Anne’s work would not remain unnoticed. Her brother-in-law, John Woodbridge, had secretly copied Anne’s work, and would later bring it to England to have it published, albeit without her permission. Surprisingly, “The Prologue” was published in the 1650s. “The Prologue” can be described as a piece written for the comprehension of women.
In this poem, Bradstreet wrote about women and the rights they were seldom granted. She felt as if her work was a masterpiece, while men viewed it as another piece of corruption. Many believe the poem was offensive to the male gender and even more so, a demeanor of their superiority. She wrote this poem to alert men that though she was a woman, she was worthy of their attention and contemplation.