Why people today do good (influences from puritan & huministic believes)-AP Level!

Essay by meganmarierigasHigh School, 11th grade November 2014

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Megan Rigas

Mr. Lawson

AP Language

27 October 2014

Puritans and Humanists Essay

It all started in the early 1600s when everything was religiously based, and people believed that there was a man in the sky that controlled everything. Those people were the puritans. The puritans believed that before you are even born, god knows whether every person will end up in heaven or in hell, and only the elected, or the chosen could go to heaven. They also believed that hard work was a way of winning gods favor, and it was encouraged to all puritans. The puritans acted the way they did, and did good to seek rewards such as getting into heaven. This puritan belief is demonstrated in Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God by Jonathan Edwards. Jonathan Edwards proclaims that all natural men are being held over the "…pit of hell, as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire…and is dreadfully provoked."

He asserts that you have to do good, and impress god, or be saved in order for your life to be preserved. Although he takes a fearful approach at his sermon, that's what was taught back then.

Literature was very religiously based during this time period. The popular genres during this time period were: sermons, religious poetry, historical narratives, and journals. The purposes of these works were to learn more about god, and to better ones self. These works were very plain, most of the time written in "plain style" which meant that word choice was very simple and bland, these people believed that fancy word choice with the intentions of being "showy" about your work was sinful. This was also a belief of the puritans, to not call attention to ones self.

It was only until around...