Each of these authors in some ways challenged Puritan theology even as they may have also embraced it. From each reading we see the beginnings of American mythologies. Morton is first and foremost literary, embedding his narrative with layers and layers of reference and allusion to canonical, biblical and mythological text. Sewall produced the earliest anti-slavery tract, which was to become a prolific American literary form. Anne Bradstreet was Americas first poet, and resisted Puritan norms while transcribing the domestic to the poetic realm. Finally, Mary Rowlandsons account initiated the genre of the captivity narrative, which she frames as Gods trial of her as a Puritan, the Chosen People.
Please choose two of the following questions to answer in 150-250 words each:
1.Mortons piece, because of its density of allusion, can be a bit of a difficult read. This said, however, he does craft a rich inter-textual tale. Selecting one moment in his text where he depicts his Puritan neighbors through several references, please unpack this strategy. What is the ultimate effect of his crafting the Puritans as he does.
In Sewalls The Selling of Joseph he engages and refutes multiple justifications for slavery. Drawing on one example from the text, how does he employ theology in this condemnation?
Bradstreets relationship to Puritan theology is often characterized resistance to it. Looking at the poem assigned for this week, “The Flesh and the Spirit,” and drawing on the text itself, where do you see this resistance manifest?
Rowlandsons harrowing tale captivated audiences and became a central motif in later American literature. Her particularly Puritan framing of her experience, however, was not embraced in later narratives or in the mythology. Drawing on one or two passages, how do you see her Puritan faith in her perception and depiction of her captors?