Thu 5 Oct 2006
After reading poems by both Anne Bradstreet and Juana Ines de la Cruz, I was intrigued by the differences in the writings about the same subject. Bradstreet and Cruz, both early American women poets, discuss the relationships between men and women in society, and focus especially on men and the belief they should have all control over women. Bradstreet, a writer in the British colonies, wrote according to her place in society. Bradstreet knew her place in society, but as an educated woman she also knew that men’s domination over women was not fair and not right. Through her poetry she reveals her feelings on the matter. Cruz, like Bradstreet, also felt negatively on men’s actions to women and the traditional belief of men’s superiority over women. In her poetry, Anne Bradstreet, subtley points out being bothered by the matter. For instance, in her poem “The Prologue,” she throws out many comments stating how she is a woman, which means she is weak in the brain and lacks intelligence. Although, she continually emphasizes on her place in society, in her fifth stanza she talks about how someone has control over her, and how she despises men’s belief on how women should not be able to write. In her writing, Cruz is much more open with her feelings on men. She opens her “Poem 92” with the line “ You foolish and unreasoning men who cast all blame on women.” Cruz lived in colonial Mexico, so the difference in how Cruz and Bradstreet professed their feelings on men shows difference in the two American cultures. In the British colonies, women were forced to follow the common belief that men were above women. In Mexico, opinions were more common and allowed.