S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) Institute of Humanities (인문학연구원) Journal of humanities (인문논총) Journal of Humanities vol.14 (1985) (인문논총)
식민지 시대 미국문학에 나타난 Puritanism과 그 거센 파장
The Overwhelming Impact of Puritanism on Colonial New England Literature
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 인문대학 인문과학연구소
- 인문논총, Vol.14, pp. 3-26
- Since the colonization of the New World was a product of both Renaissance and Reformation, the two contrasting ideals, Puritanism and liberalism, largely constituted the common life style in New England in its early period. As far as literature is concerned, however, Puritanism was dominant to such a degree that liberalism had only a puny voice. The early colonists lived under theocracy, a Puritan government that imposed Puritanism on the people while discouraging liberal thinking. Thus we find very little trace of the liberal spirit in early New England writing but rather a domination of Puritanism. Even such an explorer as Captain John Smith did not exclude from his adventurous account his sense of Providence and the need of converting the savage indian" to Christianity. This exemplifies the union of spirituals and temporals" which is a Renaissance obsession." William Bradley was a paramount example of a Puritan writer who described in his History of Plymouth PIaηtatioη how the earliest colonists overcame thousands of difficulties and dangers confronting them , ascribing their success to the grace of God. He was convinced that they were God s favored people" erecting a New Jerusalem in the New World. John Winthrops Journal follows the same general line. Histories, diaries, journals, netebooks, biographies, autobiographies, and sermons provided by Increase Mather, Cotton Mather, Samuel Seawall, and other notable prose writers, as well as poetry written by Edward Taylor, Anne Bradstreet, and Michael Wiggleworth, who represent Puritan poetry at its best, were all impregnated with the same thought patterns, though not without a handful of exceptions. Flashes of liberalism, for example, can be found in Sewalls Diary. As these sporadic flashes of liberalism or secularism were on the speedy rise and were combined with a newly introduced Deism, traces of Puritanism remained and deeply entrenched while theocratic practice ceased entirely. This trend was so pervasive that Jonathan Edwardss efforts to restore the original meaning of Puritanism was unsuccessful.