Puritanism in American Literature Essay

1149 Words Mar 12th, 2012 5 Pages
Puritanism in American Literature
The Puritans had a large influence in American literature and still influence moral judgment and religious beliefs in the United States to this day. Puritan writing was used to glorify God and to relate God more directly to our world. Puritan literature was commonly a realistic approach to life.
“Puritanism as a historical phenomenon and as a living presence in American life has enriched American literature in ways far too numerous to detail here.” (G. Perkins B. Perkins Phillip Leininger 888) Puritanism is a collection of many different religious and political beliefs. Common styles of Puritan writing are protestant, Calvinist, purposiveness, and the writings also directly reflected the
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Puritans also believed in typology, the belief that God's intentions are present in human action and in natural phenomenon. Failures to understand these intentions are human limitations. (“American Puritanism: A Brief Introduction”)
In 1620, William Bradford formed the Plymouth Plantation with a group of Europeans that came with him to America. In only a year, their number of survivors decreased by half. Bradford kept a journal that chronicled the first 30 years of Plymouth Colony. Plain speech was the high literary value of this society, as expressed by William Bradford, who enjoined “a plain style, with singular regard to the simple truth in all things.” ("The Influence of Puritanism on American Literature”) In this journal, he exhibited diplomacy and integrity, the ability to assure the colony’s survival, and made a contribution in avoiding potential disasters. His principles established religious freedom and self-government that later shaped American colonial government.
John Winthrop wrote A Modell of Christian Charity either before he crossed into America in 1630 or along his journey to the New World. In this book, the struggles that were to be faced in the New World are discussed along with Winthrop’s ideas and plan’s to overcome them. Winthrop was considered to be a contributor to the concept of American exceptionalism, the idea that the New World is unique to other countries by ideology based on laissez-faire and egalitarianism along with…