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Which aspects of puritanism do you find appealing and/or confining?i have to wirte...

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lekha16 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 18, 2009 at 6:20 PM via web

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Which aspects of puritanism do you find appealing and/or confining?

i have to wirte 1.5-2 pages typed on this topic using examples from the SCARLET LETTER, the poem "Huswifery", & John Winthrop's excerpt of "A Model of Christian Charity"
i have to refer to specific quotations n include some historical context too(but i can do this part)
the part i need help with is mainly coming up with a thesis statement to guide the way the rest of my essay is going to be written
any ideas??
plz n thnk u!

4 Answers | Add Yours

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timbrady | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted February 19, 2009 at 5:20 PM (Answer #2)

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"Although the strictures of their faith were confining in many ways, it offered the Puritans a guide for living, a ruler for evaluating their success in living their beliefs, and pointed them at a meaning in life besides the satisfactions of the moment."

This is a thesis sentence that you may or may not agree with, and therefore, want to use.  I included a tri-colon at the end.  Any/all of these could be deleted/replaced depending on your feelings about the Puritans.

I think they are often beaten up for the wrong reasons.  Their dedication to their beliefs and their shared sense of community went a long way toward getting our country up and running.

Of course, I would not expect that everyone would agree with this :)


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rshaffer | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

Posted February 19, 2009 at 5:20 PM (Answer #3)

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Appealing qualities might be their sense of devotion to God, their sense of community, their loyalty to the institution of marriage, etc.

Confining qualities might be their restrictions on their lifestyle such as no form of entertainment, their judgmental attitude, their lack of forgiveness in sin, and their hypocritical ways.

You can build your thesis from any of these qualities, and most of them will fit the pieces of literature you mention above.

Thesis could be something like this:  Although the Puritans stood for many positive ideals, their restrictive lifestyle sometimes exposed their hypocritical nature.

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dbello | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted February 19, 2009 at 5:20 PM (Answer #4)

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 I understand Puritanism as it was practiced in colonial New England. An unknown land, death a daily occurance, the fear of  the colonies' failure required a strict code of conduct. However, there is no doubt that women who challenged the status-quo of the colony might find themselves confined one way or another for their display of dissent. An idea for your thesis statement 'hypocrisy'.

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 16, 2011 at 1:02 PM (Answer #5)

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Since this is your topic, you need to commit to one.  Do you like Puritanism or don't you?  Choose a topic, such as the fact that Puritans are too controlling, and build your essay around that by providing supporting evidence from history.

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