Puritan and Protestant Traditions in Literature Questions and Answers

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Write a critical note on puritanism.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I think that more detail might be needed on this particular topic.  In my mind, little discussion about Puritanism can be present without the discussion of God injected into all aspects of existence.  The Puritans could not articulate any type of existence without the presence of God involved and in all endeavors, the looming shadow of the divine was never far behind.  Along these lines, the condition of man in light of the divine power was one of eternal sin.  Puritans believed that the nature of man was a sinful one, predisposed to engaging in sin and immorality.  The original believer in Original Sin, this was reflected in all aspects of life and work. On some levels, there appears to be a slight paradox within this thought.  On one hand, Puritans believed in the sinful nature of man through Original Sin.  On the other hand, Puritans believed in the perfectability or "purity" of human consciousness.  This led to a contradiction of sorts, one that is revealed in the literature of the time and the interpretations of the Puritan time period.  While certainly not of the Puritan time period but very reflective of it, Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" reflects this quite well.  The belief that God's name should be taken into all aspects of life and within all aspects of the community helped to construct a narrative where there was a singular notion of the political, social, and spiritual good pursued.

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