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The Flesh and the Spirit, Book Review Example

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Book Review

In this poem authored by Anne Bradstreet “The flesh and the spirit” is an illustration of how spiritualism and materialism conflict when searching for the eternal life, this is conveyed by the author tetrameter couplet rhythmically drawn to the distressed battle of tug-of-war between the good and evil. In this poem the battle of good and evil which is linked to have existed long ago and how it’s affecting our daily lives and how we struggle with this aspect in our daily lives. The poem is transmitted through voices of various personas.

This poem is an inspiration toward higher things in life that spiritual and righteous and also helps in the rejecting unproductiveness flaws which are influenced by wishful thinking and lust for worldly materials, for this brings us down because we lack knowledge of understanding of our own failing and mistakes. Anne Bradstreet (Pp 202-32) Spirit: “thy that saileth in the world of pleasures, feeding on sweet and never bit of th’ sour, filled with friends of honor and of treasure, thy takes earth ev’n for heav’n’s bower fond fool, sad affliction comes and maketh see, neither wealth, safety nor honor here, only from above all security found

The spiritual believes that the only thing that could save them from eternal damnation and themselves was the Grace of God. Though the spiritual contradicts them of the nature of achieving this Grace, for they hope to receive it in after life. The life to the is a harrowing struggle against personal adornment which include worldly riches, pleasures that are of the flesh and music temptations, by avoiding this attributes they are promised the kingdom of heaven as the above quote from the poem clearly states.

The struggle of good and evil as the poem illustrates belong to all human races, in this poem Anne Bradstreet makes it clear that good and evil are at conflict over the ownership of our souls, and vaguely and clearly illustrate how these struggles are perceived in our lives and how they affect our thinking and reasoning. Shea has clearly enacted the use of conflict between the good and evil as if they are debating over the rightful heritage of who is dominant and useful in our lives. This is dated back by the poem as its uses biblical guidance in some of its stanzas, this is to better help the readers to understand the longevity of this struggles, by this the two sides of personas are representation of the devil temptation of Jesus, though this is relied by the conflict of the spirit and flesh, as the flesh enticing the spirit to give in to fleshly desires and be awarded great benefits of worldly values.

Anne Bradstreet (Pp 203; 25-35) flesh: recompense is held industry, but thou what canst desire may’st see, in variety true substance, acquire same dost like honor, their immortal fame as some, to thy name trophy erect, which wearing time shall ne’er deject, long full sore for riches doth thou, precious store behold enough of, silver, gold and pearl earth hath enough of, than eyes see’th and hands behold, affect’s thou pleasure? Take thy fill, of what you will earth has enough of, what thou may’st find, then let not go, only in mind, for things unknown.” The poem based on the biblical messages, stories and imagery of the bible which centers the life of the righteous and how the flesh need to know how the spirit which is a replica of the soul can survive on heavenly aspiration alone and deject from earthly and fleshy pleasures that are found herein earth. The conflict here again is based on the pleasures that life offers and is in the constant crossroad of the lives of all human being, contrary to the riches that are only confessed and not withheld or seen. Because the flesh confesses to the spirit how the earthly procession are tangible and are there to be exploited then its by truth that they are there with a purpose, which to flesh the purpose is to entertain the human in all kind of immorality and lustful endeavors.

The above quotes are the replica of the devil (flesh) in the desert, where she offers wealth, human respect and earthly pleasures And Jesus (spirit) when he refuses this all the works of the devil and vows not to tempt God and instead fixes his eyes on the treasures of heaven which are laid await for them that have patience and those who practice good deeds and fought off temptation on the earth which they have resided in all their lives. In the bible it’s quoted that man shall not leave by bread alone but by every measure of good he pursues.

Further more the poem has some hidden meaning which shows the way religion is very esoteric, and only few have the full knowledge of the hidden manna, manna was the food God sent for the Israelites while they were in the desert, though in biblical term is viewed as blessing sent from God. This is evidence in this poem by Anne Bradstreet as the context of this poem shows how that only few shall be able to refrain from the fleshly desires of this world, and the few who will refrain will receive the reward of abstaining and be offered eternal life, this the poem clearly states that would only be achieved through life after death.

Conclusion

The symbolical descriptions and metaphorical sense by which this poem is portrayed by the author allows to clearly see and differentiate good from evil and know the real value of life and know what to refrain for, this is for the pursuit of eternal life or life after death which as the poem states is a reward for those who refrain from fleshly desires that leads to sins.

Work Cited

Anne Bradstreet, 1678. Several Poems: The Flesh and the Spirit. 2nd Ed. Boston: John Foster,

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