American literature, to my eyes, like American history, although short, however, still
full of glories and shining masterpieces and writers. Those American writers, while
conquering this wild America, also had conquered the great field of American
literature. From its first imitative activities to innovative attempts nowadays,
American literature gradually gains its unique style, theme and form. American
literature is part of world's literature, however, it always has its unique flavor that
cannot be easily ignored.
The first characteristic theme is a literary expression of the Puritan idealism.
The first settlers came to America with the wish to purify the religious practice in the church, because they left Britain for the reason that they were religiously and politically persecuted. Therefore, they were called Puritans. Puritans soon established their own religious and moral principles, which has influenced the American thought and American literature a lot.
They wrote directly and about God and other related topics.
In every author's work, whether they write about God directly or if they just write about Him in their lives, the Puritans clearly show their love and commitment to Him. In William Bradford's "Of Plymouth Plantation," William writes about the various events in relationship to God. During a flood, a ship is thought to be lost but when discovered again Bradford writes, "Yet by God's mercy they recovered themselves..." The Puritans did not write for their own fame or fortune, they wrote for Gods'.
Edward Taylor also wrote to glorify God in everyday activities. In his poem "Huswifery" he applies his Christian beliefs and teachings to making cloth. He tells how cloth is made into "holy robes". Another aspect of Puritan life that inspired writings was the bible. The Puritans took the bible literally as the pure source of God's law. Taylor was much moved and motivated...