Colonial Times

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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Colonial Times Today there are several different types of literature. Colonial literature is a very important part of our American heritage. Colonial literature includes historical, religious, and political events that take place in the literature.

Literature is often focused around historical events. "It was an oddly assorted group that established the foundations of American literature: the Native Americans with their oral traditions, the Puritans with their preoccupation with sin and salvation, and the southern planters with their busy social lives" (7). Many of the literature works that was published included many historical events. From The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Oldaudah Equiano written by Oldaudah Equiano was a narrative based on historical facts and events dealing with slavery. This narrative tells how the slaves felt about their lives and trip aboard the ship. Equiano states, ". . . preferring death to such a life of misery . .

. ." This was a statement that many of the slaves thought, felt, or even said while they were aboard the ship.

Religion was often the focus of many literary works. Religion dominated the lives of the Puritans and their writings. "The purpose of such writings was to provide spiritual insight and instruction" (7). Religion played an important role in this time period which makes it easy to understand why it was so often found in the literature. In Jonathan Edwards "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" religion is the main focus of this literary work, Edwards writes ". . . by the mighty power of the spirit of God upon your souls. . . . " This is one of the many statements that are centered around God and Kreis, 2 religion. Edwards also alludes to the biblical passage Genesis 19:24, where an angry God ". . . rained down fire and brimstone from the skies . . . ." Political writings were very popular during the Colonial period. This was about the time when Thomas Jefferson wrote the "Deceleration of Independence". To this day this is considered one of the most famous political writings. Patric Henry is one of the most famous orations. In the "Speech in the Virginia Convention" politics is one of its main focuses. Henry states a very political point, "Is this the part of wise, engaged in a great and arduous struggle for liberty?" Political writings are still very important and essential to our heritage.

During the Colonial time historical, religious, and political factors was emphasized in many of the literary works. Colonial literature has had a big influence on modern day literature. It has helped mold and shape what we call literature today.