Chosen People, or Coerced Patronage?
The literature produced during the Puritan era was striking in its ever popular sermon format and its condescending tones. Authors like Jonathan Edwards and Michael Wigglesworth were not reluctant to use fear and intimidation to get their messages across. Wigglesworth's "The Day of Doom," and Edward's "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," include vivid imagery and crude descriptions of the mind-numbing path to righteousness. With themes relating to idealism, both political and religious, and the emphasis on practicality and piety, these Puritan writings are filled with elegiac verses and fiery allusions to make fear one of the driving forces to "find God".
Most Puritan works of literature were written to inspire the ideals of Puritan living. Puritans were children of a covenant; this gave them the purpose to write these biblical supplements. Just like people of any society or culture, the requirements and duties were a product of their beliefs, and the Puritans belief that they were God's "chosen" people assumed it their duty to bring religion into the lives of those who seemed un-influenced.
Jonathan Edwards was one of the many who felt it his duty as a Puritan author to use...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 873 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 6701 literature essays, 1807 sample college application essays, 276 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in