Colonial literature characteristics

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Last updated: April 28, 2019

Puritan plain style
No artistic flourishes in literary work, focus on recording history, and praising God

Women as troublemakers
Anne Hutchinson who gained religious influence by interpreting the scripture in an unapproved way. Large majority of those prosecuted in Salem witch trials were women.

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Very british
Way less of a multinational influence seen than in new world times. The Puritans left England specifically for being punished for their religious beliefs.

Sectionialism
The stark difference between the north and south. The latter allowing slavery, and having a generally more laid back atmosphere.

The north was cold and harsh and bred people of the same sort.

Focus on inner life
Usually on a spiritual one, the Puritans self-reflect often and wonder how God has played his hand in testing them, teaching a lesson, punishing, and more.

Captivity narrative
Mentioned in of Plymouth plantation.

Subject of a narrative of the captivity and restoration of Mrs Mary rowlandson, hannah dustan.

Interactions with natives
More so than in the new world, Colonial people had a better understanding of the native people. They formed relationships and a peace treaty via the people of an English speaking native named Squanto. William bradford described a group of Indians who he knew to particularly war faring.

Puritan influence
Strongly religious people who live their lives strictly according to the scripture. Relished in any sort of hardship as a chance to prove their love for God.

Conformity vs noncomformity
The Puritans left England in search of religious freedom.

They persecuted anyone who dissented from their ideals

Destiny
Puritan people are a preselected group of people God has chosen to save. They see any suffering they endure as God and the devil both testing them.

Violence
The Puritans are constantly reporting of conflicts with native Americans and during this time two wars occur.

The captivity narratives specifically depict brutish acts by all sides. The trials of nonconformists also brings a lot of this into the picture.

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