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The Role Of God In Puritan Literature

Decent Essays
Religious beliefs of the Puritan people greatly influenced their literature, and even the literature of American authors who came after them. Religion and the Christian god had a prominent role in Puritan society, and this is mirrored in the community’s literature. Puritan novels and stories are often used to celebrate and praise God for his actions toward the people. For example, in “The Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson,” the author Rowlandson recounts the time that Native Americans attacked her town and captured her. Faced with mistreatment from her captors, such as being given insufficient food and being separated from her children for long periods of time, Rowlandson finds that her faith in God is what keeps her alive.…show more content…
Puritans often believed that they saw God’s impact on their lives, even when religion might not have been involved. This shows in Bradstreet’s work because she views her sickness as God’s test of her strength (15). In addition, she believes that God is the one who lifted her from the ailment, and she thanks him profusely for allowing her to live. Like “The Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson,” this poem is a piece of work that celebrates God’s life-saving impact on the…show more content…
The short story “The Minister’s Black Veil” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, set in an early American community, reflects how the Puritans’ feelings toward the Devil influence American writing, even in a post-Puritan society. When a reverend, Mr. Hooper, begins wearing a black veil, the people in his village are disturbed and curious as to why. They fear him and begin avoiding him, even with no proof of why he is wearing the cloth. This is because while some believe the veil is a “sign of mourning” (272), many others think that Mr. Hooper is attempting to hide a “horrible crime” (275), or a sin. The characters are so frightened by the idea of sinning and of being acquainted with a sinner that they avoid their reverend. Even Elizabeth, his fiancee, is driven away from Mr. Hooper when he refuses to remove the veil because she thought the rumors of his sin would destroy his place in the community (272). Even though Hawthorne’s “The Minister’s Black Veil” was written in the nineteenth century, long after the time of the Puritans, it is clear that their religious beliefs and fears heavily influence the
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