Puritan and Neoclassical Literature

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Puritan and Neoclassical Literature Since well before the United States became its own independent nation, the people of this land have worked to develop a purely unique identity. Part of the structure of this identity has been developed through the literature of American authors. When the Puritans came to the New World, they led a life that was focused on their religious beliefs. Through the course of time, the people of the British colonies developed an identity apart from both the homeland of England and their religious predecessors. Anne Bradstreet, a Puritan, was one of the first women writers to gain international fame as a New World writer. In her poem "Prologue" she writes about what it is like for a Puritan woman living in the New World. Ben Franklin, as exemplified in his autobiography, was one of the most outspoken writers of the neoclassical periods. In comparing the writings of people from each of those periods of American history, scholars can gain a better understanding of what life was like for those individuals and their companions. As a Puritan woman, Anne Bradstreet was reared in a religion where women were subservient to men, life was hard, and the whole of one's life was centered on The Bible. In her poem "The Prologue," Bradstreet writes that her desire to be a poet is against the norm for women of her time. Men around her say that "my hand a needle better fits" (Bradstreet line 32). Not only does she speak about the rigorous nature of her
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