Anne Bradstreet “Upon the Burning of Our House”

Anne Bradstreet
“Upon the Burning of Our House”
Rhetorical Revelations:
What does her language reveal?
Interpret What philosophical beliefs about God and the
purpose of human life are reflected in this poem?
Draw Conclusions Pelf usually refers to wealth acquired
dishonestly. Why do you think the speaker calls her
treasures “pelf” in line 52? What other word choices imply
meaningful connotations? Explain.
Analyze Draw a line after the line that marks the turning
point in this poem. Explain your decision.
Infer In Christian teachings, with what is fire usually
associated? How might this metaphorical meaning of fire
influence the speaker’s decision to love the divine instead
of the material?
Evaluate Bradstreet’s poem portrays an internal debate
between love for material goods and love for the divine.
Choose one side of this debate and explain your choice.
With a partner, dissect the poem.
• Identify details that express Anne’s deep
sense of loss.
• Where does Anne seem to warn herself
against her affection for worldly things?
• Find use of figures of speech and
determine what they might reveal.
• Contrast can be an effective rhetorical
device. Explore Anne’s contrasting
language portraying distress and serenity.