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.
During the seventeenth century, the place for women was at home, in the kitchen or doing some sort of domestic work. Anne Bradstreet uses "The Prologue" to talk about the way society viewed women in the public eye. In the fifth stanza, the anger of Bradstreet is clearly displayed in the lines, .
Who says my hand a needle better fits; .
A poet's pen all scorn I should thus wrong, .
For such despite they cast on female wits.
If what I do prove well, it won't advance; .
They"ll say it's stol"n, or else it was by chance" (26-30).
Bradstreet is saying that she will prove everyone that thinks she cannot write that they are wrong and being a woman does not mean she is lucky when she writes something good or that she has stolen it. In the seventh stanza, Bradstreet also says she understands her place is beneath men in society's standing. This is expressed in the lines, "It is but vain unjustly to wake war; / men can do best, and women know it well." (39-40). Bradstreet is aware of her domestic duties, all she wants is to be recognized as a writer and be respected for her writings. Bradstreet does not understand why people do not give her credit for her work when she deserves it.