Colonial American literature has been importantly influencedby British writers. John Smith, William Bradford and Anne Bradstreet are an exampleof this contribution.
Smith and Bradford highlighted in the narrative genre withtheir letters, journals and memories of their trip to the New World; and AnneBradstreet did it through poetry. She was the only one who received a higheducation, learning many languages. Smith and Bradford never went to university,but it wasn’t a hardship as they became a reference in their time.
Captain Smith and Bradford had a different personality andintention. Smith was an explorer, a man of action regarding to his past as asoldier, so his intention was purely political. For that reason, his first impressionof America was violent as the ‘savages’ made him a slave; On the other hand,Bradford was a separatist puritan man who settled to start a new life in communitypeacefully.
The first meeting with the natives was also violent, but hisbenevolent nature made that the Pilgrims and the Indians ended up in a good relationship.Smith and the separatist described their trip in an objectiveway. The Captain’s letters have a first and third singular point of view togive an objective vision, but this fact together with the ornate style removereliability to his writings. It shows his ego and mixes reality with fiction.We see it in an extract of his book when he explains how the natives capturedhim: “they followed him with 300 bow-men” (Teresa Gibert, American literature to 1900, 17).
On the other side, Bradford’sannals are in the third person plural voice in a plain descriptive style. Itlet us see his community and global personality.The religious intent of Bradford in America was also shared byBradstreet, but in a different way. The Pilgrims exiled to create their ownreligion apart from the Anglican Church. Otherwise, Bradstreet’s non-separatistpuritan clanship was persecuted because they wanted a strict Church reform.Thereby, they were brave to leave their countries for their religion and start inthe New World.The fact that Bradstreet and Bradford were believers isdenoted in the abundance of Christian vocabulary and Biblical references. Hehad a denotative style; She, instead, used poetic and connotative language fullof metaphors (“The Author to Her Book”is itself a metaphor of a fatherless and poor child) through which we see hersensitiveness together with an ironic style.
This is showed in her poem “On my dear Grandchild Simon Bradstreet”:”Let’s say He’s merciful as well as just” (Teresa Gibert, American literature to 1900, 56). She lived with this tensionbetween her Christian beliefs lived in a strict way and her inner self.Concluding,the intention of Bradstreet and Bradford was purely religious and benevolent asthey had good relationship with the natives. In contrary, Smith preferredfighting and not mediating. Although their characters, Anne Bradstreet isdifferentiated because her personality is hidden her poems.