Summary and Theme of Edward Taylor's "Huswifery"

Essay by onefasthonda December 2005

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In Edward Taylor's conceit, "Huswifery", a man describes his longing to be closer to God, and to be used as a vessel to further the Lord's kingdom. Taylor describes the many ways he would like to be used by God as well as going into detail as to how he wants to be used.

Taylor starts by writing about how he would like God to be the master spinner behind his "spinning wheel" which signifies his desire for the Lord to take over his life and to use his life to further His kingdom. Taylor then goes on explain this idea by integrating many of the parts of a spinning wheel into the analogy. The audience of his conceit is God, which is shown by the fact that it is a letter to God. The occasion seems to be that he may have just had a turning point in his life where he realized that he needed to recommit his life to God.

The type of diction used by Edward Taylor in "Huswifery" could be classified as very thorough. Taylor goes out of his way to describe each aspect of a spinning wheel, and how he can fit his life into each piece. The symbolism of the spinning wheel shows how God can take each piece of our life and change it for His good. Throughout the poem, Taylor goes from being fabric to be used on the spinning wheel to being the finished product. This represents the complete change from selfishness to servant hood.

The main theme found in "Huswifery" is desperation. Taylor apparently has decided that he is going to stop living life for his own desire, but instead give it to God to be worked through. His purpose in writing the poem was to be a letter to God, a written form of prayer.

In conclusion, I view this poem as being a very touching way of Taylor communicating his extreme desire to become more intimate with God. I believe his analogy of the spinning wheel was a very effective way to communicate his point, and it shows that he put deep thought into his choice to change.