Puritanism in American Literature Essay

1132 Words Dec 22nd, 2011 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 …show more content…
Anne Bradstreet was unique to authors of her time because her work had literary creativity and artistic merit and was written for literature. In contrast, works of Winthrop and Bradford were written for historical purposes and to express their positions and political beliefs on certain positions. In England in 1650, some of Bradstreet's poems compiled together by her brother-in-law who named them The Tenth Muse. The first of these poems was the Four Elements, which are fire, water, earth, and air. The Constitutions were the four temperaments of man kind as they were seen by medieval and Renaissance physiology, choleric, melancholic, phlegmatic, and sanguine. The four Ages of Man, which are child, teen, adult, and elder as Seasons of the Year which are Fall, Spring, Summer and Winter were described and explained. Bradstreet was better with her knowledge of literature rather than her own personal opinions directly. In some poems, Bradstreet displays deep affections of the patriarchal Puritan household and a sensuous response to nature. Bradstreet’s literature showed both sides of the spectrum by upholding puritan beliefs as well as creating artistic merit. The American writings of the seventeenth century possess as a whole no great artistic merit. They are valuable chiefly as a study in origins and as a complex mirror of early American experience.

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