Essay on Individualism in History

Essay on Individualism in History

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In today’s world, individualism is everywhere, accepted by many and encouraged by most people in America. However, in the 18th century colonies, when America was finding its beginnings, this was something that was highly frowned upon. Among many beliefs during the 18th century, one that stood out the most were Puritans who thought that everyone was equal and should do their part to help their community. There were, also, the Deists who believed that everyone was a part of a bigger picture than what was actually seen. Not one of the proclaimed Deists strove to be different from the other, always conforming to what was around him or her. During the 18th century, there were two men who could not be more obviously different than Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin. Although they had different beliefs and goals, they still had the same motivations to succeed and similar work ethics. Despite Edwards and Franklin’s obvious difference, they were very much alike.
When it comes to portraying a powerful message though, these two men couldn’t be more different in their writing style and delivery. Edwards, being the Puritan he was, wrote a powerful sermon entitled, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” The title itself should strike some fear in your heart without even reading more into the passage. It only gets better from the beginning, when first preached, Edwards could not even finish the planned sermon as so many people were upset with the words he was speaking to them! Edwards could not have made it any clearer to the people in his congregation that God was not happy at the sinners sitting the pews that Sunday morning. With every word Jonathan spoke, he struck fear, and guilt into the lives of everyone sitting there listening...

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...wo different ways. They used the same ethics and morals to accomplish two different ideals. They used the same ethics and morals to accomplish two different ideals. Coming from different belief systems, they, also, did a lot of good in respects to their own values. Franklin and Edwards were both hard workers and believed strongly in the good of people. Although these men seem to be very different, they were, in fact, more alike than any other adversaries. Not to knock off their differences, because they were very different, but they had a lot of similarities to go along with their differences.

Works Cited
Baym, Nina, and Robert S. Levine, eds. The Norton Anthology: American Literature. 8th ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2012. Print.
Perkins, George, and Barbara Perkins. The American Tradition in Literature. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2002. Print.

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