Puritan and Protestant Traditions in Literature Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

How did the Puritans treat literature during the 19th century?

Expert Answers info

Lynn Ramsson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write787 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

This question is interesting because Puritans and Puritan literature actually had their heyday during the seventeenth-century. By the nineteenth-century, American literature had transformed into something very different from the Puritan writing of the seventeenth-century, but Puritan influences are still observable in the works that emerged from the writers of the nineteenth, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson.

When Puritans were writing back in the seventeenth-century, the work they produced had a didactic quality, which means that the writing was intended to teach readers a moral lesson. The didactic messages often concerned religious propriety and moral codes of living that Puritans lived by at this time in America.

As well, Puritan writers did not write with the intention of entertaining their readers, which is why frivolous stories and novels do not exist from this time period. First person accounts of religious experiences and poems...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 433 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Related Questions

Asher Wismer eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write2,867 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Science, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial