There are many similarities and differences between Native American literature and Puritan literature. Both cultures valued work to some degree. Puritan literature was written plainly to reflect their plain lives, while Native American literature was decorated with colorful expressions, reflecting wilderness life. The Puritans, unlike the Native Americans, who lived slow paced lives, tried to glorify God in their every action. The similarities and differences present themselves in many ways. Work was important to Puritans as well as Native Americans. To each culture, however, work had a different meaning.
To the Puritans, work was physical labor, like tilling fields or building the homes of the colony. Literature reflected the lives of both cultures. Puritan literature was plain and did not emphasize the writer, but tried to glorify God. Puritans used no similes or metaphors, because these glorified the writer, not God. Native Americans, however, used showy language in literature much more freely. They believed in living life to the fullest, and this was shown through their literature as well as what possessions they had.
Native American literature reflected Southern life, just as Puritan literature reflected Puritan life.
The Puritans, in their lives, tried to glorify God in everything they did. They believed the best way to glorify God and also to get to heaven was hard labor. The Puritans tried to see the connection to God in their own work, and their neighbors often checked on them, too. Native Americans life, though, wasn’t as God-oriented. Things were grand for them, and they intended to enjoy themselves. Puritan Plain Style of writing basically had an emphasis on nouns and verbs. These were the most important elements of the story, and this is what the Puritans focused on.
This writing style, because of its lack of descriptive language, can be somewhat difficult to read. An example of this is Bradford’s “Of Plymouth Plantation. ” It tells what happened but little else. It doesn’t arouse the same response as writing with more descriptive language would. The way the styles were was a direct reflection of the lifestyles of the writers. Plain Style tended to show the plain, hard working way of life of the Puritans. In fact, most Puritans’ writings were in the form of journals, so they directly told about the work of the Puritans. Southerners wrote in Ornate Style because they lived that way.
They tried to enjoy life. They boasted of their accomplishments, and decorated their homes as they did their writing. This shows that the Puritans lived a different life than the Southerners. The two major early American writing styles were quite different. Plain Style told stories in an undisruptive way, telling only “who did what,” in other words, the actions. Ornate Style stories went further, describing the action, using showy language. Both styles reflected the lives of their writers. Thus the writing styles of the Early Americans were very different, with a sort of “cultural chasm” diving them.
Cite this Native American vs. Puritan
Native American vs. Puritan. (2017, Feb 16). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/native-american-vs-puritan/