Puritan Literature in America

Puritan Literature in America

Puritan Literature in America The Puritans Definition: Group of Protestants who wanted to purify the Church of England. Suffered persecution in England. Small group led by William Bradford came to the New World on the Mayflower in 1620. Upon their arrival, they were met with harsh winters and unfamiliar terrain.

Established the first printing press, free public grammar schools, and the first American college (otherwise known as Puritan Beliefs Most of humanity damned by the sin of Adam and Eve. Predestination God had already decided, before birth, whether someone would go to heaven or to hell Values: self-reliance, hard-working, moderation, simple living, industrious, sobriety/temperance

Hard work resulted in material wealth, which indicated that a person was devoted to God. The Puritans were considered Pilgrims Puritan Politics Rather undemocratic - felt that the saintly elect (in other words, religious leaders) should have had the most influence in politics Church elders were also political leaders any church rule violation was also a

social one, and Puritan ministers always preached fear. Puritan Politics They used a Bible verse to justify when they needed something from the Native American people: Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. Romans 13:2 Characteristics of Puritan Writing

Bible provided model - individual life is a journey to salvation. Connections between Biblical events and their own lives. Used writing to explore their inner and outer lives for signs of Gods work. Diaries and histories were most common. Plain style stressed clear expression and avoided complicated figures of speech William Bradford

1590-1657 Of Plymouth Plantation Described hardships of journey to New World; unshakeable belief in God. Plain Style of writing - few figures of speech Jonathan Edwards

1703-1758 Famous sermon: Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God Fire and brimstone imagery everyone was going to hell! Helped bring about the Great Awakening Increased religious enthusiasm Mass hysteria due to power of the messages Accused prominent church membersby nameof sinning

Tyrannical pastor - extreme and strict thought of humans as lowly sinners. Anne Bradstreet 1612-1672 Came to America on one of the first ships from England Her father and her husband were governors of Massachusetts Her works explore religion, a personal

relationship with God, and her husband (even though the love between a husband and wife was supposed to be repressed so that there was no distraction from a relationship with God) Anne Bradstreet Puritan society said that Annes place in life was to be domestic, separated from the affairs of church and state, getting her ideas from God and from her husband. Anne was bothered by the Puritan bias toward women that was common in her time.

When her work was published, her brother-in-law had to tell people she was still a good woman, meaning that all her free time was still devoted to religious activities, and she wrote her poetry when

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