By Lee A. Zito
1. Characteristics of a Jeremiad are sorrow, complaining, mournfulness, and bitter lamentation. Mary Rowlandson's text functions as a jeremiad by quoting scripture from the books of Isaiah and Jeremiah. It also contains the characteristic I have mentioned before. Rowlandson laments over the sinfulness of her community, while quoting scripture to justify the punishments as from God Himself.
2. Internal doubt caused problems for the Puritan's as well as external enemies. They, however, believed these problems were here because of their own interpretations of Scripture from the Bible. These problems put Puritans against each other, struggling to perform their sacred errand . The Native American's and witches, enemies of the Puritan's, were considered to be those who would oppress the Puritans who believed religiously that they were in the right.
3. Some example of post-Puritan Jeremiads are Sacvan Berovitch and David Howard-Pitney. The Jeremiad form can be found in contemporary literature, culture, and politics, especially after a tragedy.
The Jeremiad form is most useful then to help explain these tragic occurrences to people. The Jeremiad has remained a central component of rhetoric of the American public life because it helps explain the unexplainable. It accomplishes this by using the power of God to do so.