The Beginnings Of the American Tradition To 1760. The Americas.
Of the American
Puritans wished to have their feelings radically changed, and experience what they called grace, the miracle by which God grants some people the ability to love truly. They wished to cleanse themselves of all vanity, envy and lust so as to love God and God’s creation wholeheartedly. They realized people could not simply decide to convert their feelings; they spent much of their lives examining their feelings for signs of grace.
Puritans valuedplainness, especially in religion. They desired to return Christianity to simple forms of worship described in the New Testament.
They met for worship in square wooden buildings, painted white and stripped of ornament.
3. They saw their lives in the New World as a divine missionto carry Christianity to America. They believed that America was a place specially appointed by God to be an example to the rest of the world, a “city upon a hill.”
Differences between Southern settlements & New England:
Puritans vanished but their emphasis on examining and purifying one’s feelings lingers in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s call to see the world freshly, as if reborn.
Puritans’ insistence on plainness resounds in poetry of EmilyDickinson and prose of Ernest Hemingway.
Puritan vision of America as divinely appointed plane pervades later American concepts of an “American Mission,” “Manifest Destiny,” or “American Dream.”
Southern gentleman’s ideal of public service survives in Washington, Jefferson, & other Southern Revolutionary leaders.
Planters’ closeness to land lives on in modern Southern writers like William Faulkner.
Explorers, Puritans & early Southerners share with later American writers a desire to convey the special quality of life in America, to show how they felt living in a new land, facing new experiences.The Beginnings of American Literature