The Role of Religion in Early American Literature

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The Role of Religion in Early American Literature

1) The role of religion played a major role in early American literature. Many different authors form a variety of time period's incorporate religious ideas and philosophies into their writings. A few authors from different time periods that did this were Johnathan Edwards, Anne Bradstreet, and Henry David Thoreau.

Anne Bradstreet was a Puritan. Much like all the other Puritans of her time she examined her conscience daily and that they always felt that they were humbled by God's creations and powers. One poem in which she expresses her religion's ideas and philosophies was "Contemplations".

This poem was about very religious. In this poem she talks about her admiration of God and how she and all humans are humbled by God's creations. She says, "The higher on the glistening sun I gazed. Whose beams was shaded by the leafy tree; The more I looked, the ore I grew amazed, and softly said, 'What glory like to thee?' Soul of this world, this universe's eye, No wonder some made thee a deity; had I not better known, alas, the same had I". This quote means that a tree because of its beauty amazes her. Also, she is saying that the thing responsible for creating such a thing must just as beautiful if not the most beautiful on the earth.

The self- examination part of her religion part comes into play because this poem was very long and confusing; much like how I believed her life was. She had rheumatic fever and through out her life she suffered from periods of fatigue and faced death eight times by giving birth to eight children. I think that she wrote the poem to represent her life she felt that her life was very long and drawn out. She also saw that there were a l...

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... she wouldn't be as hated, but she knows that Christianity is just a mask and that the whites will always see a Negro before they see a Christian. " 'Their color is a diabolic dye.' Remember, Christians, Negroes black as Cain, may be refined, and join the angelic train."

I think that these debates about race are brought played out in texts as a counter reaction to something that was previously written. Like Cooper and Stowe made best sellers out of their diluted stories of how the slaves and the Indians and slaves mistreated. Apess an Wheatley counteract that by saying that their people were treated a lot worse than it was portrayed and that no one knows about it.

I think that the notions of race and inter-race relations have definitely changed over the years. Now a mixed couple is perfectly acceptable and racism exists but it is not on the level that it was.

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