AMERICA, PURITAN LITERATURE BEFORE THE AGE OF REASON
Keywords:Puritans, success, poetry, sermons, diaries and chronicles
In the American culture in general, the Puritan tradition has been a very interesting feature. The Puritans were neither the first nor the largest group of newcomers, but the arrival of the Mayflower on the American shore in 1620 and the creation of the Plymouth Plantation have come to signify the foundations of modern America. In order to understand the power of survival displayed by this group of brave people, this paper tries to explain the motives for their “errand into the wilderness” as well as to show that the life of the 17th and 18th century America was not exclusively gloomy and quiet. The main difficulty here lies in the lack of reliable sources, although poetry in the 17th century was also written by some poets who were of more than a temporary significance. As for the 18th century, histories of American literature never pay much attention to the period, which can perhaps be excused by the lack of literary works of importance until the very end of the century. There were, of course, philosophical and religious works interesting as a record of events that meant the end of the domination of Puritanism and
the arrival of the Age of Reason.