The Growth Of American Individuality

1721 WordsMay 21, 20157 Pages
The Growth of American Individuality in Relation to Self-Expression Religion is an imperfect savior. Primitive civilizations depended on religion to explain the workings of the world; they depended on gods to protect their crops and homes from disease, drought, and other disasters far out of human control. While this dependency provided comfort, it sacrificed individuality. Recent years has seen the rise of alternative forms of media: novels, digital music, movies. These were not available to previous civilizations. Early Americans only had access to the Bible, which was unreadable to the average illiterate. Newer forms of media have spurned a nation-wide reflection on the old traditions that were largely set by religion. Ever since the founding of the colonies, and ever since more diverse forms of self-expression have become more accessible, Americans have grown in individuality as they have become less dependent on religion. The Puritans were the first of the Europeans to settle in the Americas. While their traditions have left a profound mark on American culture, their strict ways are rather peculiar. In The Crucible, Arthur Miller critiques Puritan society as close-minded and obsessed about maintaining conformity. “The parochial snobbery of these people was partly responsible for their failure to convert the Indians. Probably they also preferred to take land from heathens rather than from fellow Christians” (140). The Puritans revolved their culture around religion,

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