The literature of early New England reflected the lives and beliefs of Puritan colonists. The basis of their society was structured strictly towards humility and the worship of god. Every action the puritans committed reflected an attitude of humility, for they feared gaudiness would offend the glory of god. As such, the everyday behaviors of puritans were basic and simple, from the food they ate to the clothes they wore. It is no surprise then, that the Puritan mind-set of depravity would also shine through in their writings. The literary works of Anne Bradstreet, Edward Taylor, and the New England Primer are all prime testaments of Puritan thought.
In The New England Primer, the reader is presented to the indoctrination tool used by Puritans to cull children into following the values of their society. With the introduction of the Puritan Alphabet, it is shown that the Bible, Scientific Observations, and Moral Values are the most prized ideals of Puritan Society.
The Scientific Observations teach children to be observant of their environment, so that nature can be skillfully manipulated for agricultural and hunting needs, whereas Biblical verses are added to imprint the lessons of the bible onto children, teaching them to be ardent followers of their church. Morality is added to the alphabet also, imprinting onto the children the proper behaviors needed to survive in a strict puritan society. The lessons that are taught to the children in the Primer are ideals of their parents, reflecting the beliefs of their society. Drawing from this, the most important values of the Puritans are Morals, Agriculture/Hunting, and Religion.
The fiery sermons of Jonathan Taylor reflect the attitudes of which puritans feel for their religion. By seeing God as full of contempt, quick to anger, and disgusted of Mankind, their fear of him is...