The Puritans English III American Literature Northeastern High
- Slides: 9
The Puritans English III: American Literature Northeastern High School Mrs. Nagy
Who were the Puritans? n n n The Puritans were a religious group from England who held very different values form other predominant English religions. Often referred to in Europe as separatists because they usually isolated themselves. Isolation was both by choice and necessity.
Coming to America n n The Puritans left England for the New World throughout the 1600 s for the same reasons many groups did… n Seeking relief from religious persecution n Wanted to be able to freely practice their own religion They settled mostly along the coast of Massachusetts.
Puritan Beliefs n n n Religion was a personal, inner experience All of humanity was “damned” eternally by the sin of Adam and Eve and individuals had to work very hard to overcome this and become pure (hence the name PURitans). Unpure leaders of government and churches could come between the individual and God.
Puritan Beliefs Continued n n n Puritans sought after God contantly – in order to be saved one had to “purify” hir or her entire lifestyle and live in a “Godly” manner. The Bible was to be studied daily and its practices followed closely. Sunday, “The Sabbath, ” was especially important – church was MANDATORY for everyone and sermons were often 3 hours or more.
Puritan Beliefs Continued n n Church leaders also led the government and these leaders were chosen basedon signs of blessing from God. Puritan values: n n n Self-reliance Hard work Moderation Simplicity They valued these things because they led to greater connection with God.
Puritan Lifestyle n n n Very simple – clothing, games, literature, hobbies Hard working – believed in working hard to achieve God’s favor, also it was a necessity. Moderation (frugal) – tried not to use more than what they needed; believed excess to be a sin Did not believe in pleasure – food, fun, sex Judgemental of those who did not follow these standards – “rule breakers” were publicly punished
Puritan Literature & Writings n n They did not write for pleasure or entertainment. One reason was the fact that they were struggling to build their settlement and did not have time. Another reason was that they considered works of fiction frivolous and possibly immoral. Types of texts they did write: - historical documents: preserving their history and offering justifications to relieve the guilt they felt over leaving relatives behind in England - personal journals: as tools for self-reflection/ examination and as a way to look for signs of salvation - poetry, but highly inspired by religious beliefs - religious examinations - sermons
Puritan Plain Style: n n n Plain Style: a mode of expression characterized by its clarity, accessibility, straightforwardness, simplicity, and lack of ornamentation. In early America, the plain style aesthetic had broad cultural relevance, shaping the language of prose and poetry, the design of furniture and architecture, painting and other visual arts. Rejecting ornamental flourishes and superfluous decoration as sinful vanity, plain stylists worked to glorify God in their expressions rather than to show off their own artistry or claim any renown for themselves. This aesthetic appealed to both Puritans and Quakers.