R and T

Puritans, Romantics,
Realists, and
What do you think?
• “Puritanism. The
haunting fear
that someone,
may be happy.”
H.L. Mencken
Puritans Vs. Pilgrims
• Small group of Puritans who
traveled on the Mayflower
in 1620 to establish a
“purified” church.
• Settled the Massachusetts
Bay Colony about 10 years
after Mayflower Pilgrims
came over. Also pilgrims, as
in seeking a new home
because of religious
• Reconstruct not only
church, but man and man’s
institutions as well.
Puritanism: A New Start in America
• Persecuted in England for going
against the Protestant
• Religion was an individual,
personal, and internal
• The individual’s relationship
with God was not determined
by a member of the clergy or
the government—it was direct
• Believed that all humans were
damned (depravity), but that
some were meant to be saved.
Even More Major
• Fate was pre-determined-one couldn’t “save” oneself,
but if one led a good life,
one would be able to see the
“signs” that meant one were
• Only God’s grace was an
individual’s salvation.
• Dissenters were punished
severely: flogging,
banishment, death (Salem
Witch Trials)
• Business was an important
part of community, as was
Puritan Community/Values:
• Contract-based (like
convenant with God)
of democracy
• Valued: self-awareness,
temperance, and simplicity
Puritan “Look”
Salem Witch Trials
Salem Witch Trials: 1692
•19 men and women (5 men)
convicted and hung for witchcraft
•Daughter and niece of a prominent
reverent fell ill. People called
“witchcraft” and the witch hunt began
•People accused others by “calling out
names” in fits, or sickness=panic
•Fear of the devil and his workings,
paranoia born out of uncertainty and
fear, factions in villages, competition
with nearby towns, epidemic of
•After less than a year, the court
disbanded, all those in prison for
witchcraft were pardoned and the
“witch hunt” was over
•Families were eventually given
apologies and restitution
Puritan Writing
• Bible=model as people
searched for connections
between their lives and
biblical events
• Each individual’s life was a
spiritual journey, so recorded
in diaries and historical
documents describing the
workings of God.
• Known for plain style of
writing emphasizing clarity
and avoiding complicated
figures of speech
Puritan Writers
Anne Bradstreet
William Bradford
Mary Rowlandson
Jonathan Edwards
Anne Bradstreet
•Born in England in 1612
•Married Simon Bradstreet at
16, emigrated to Colonies in
•Wrote of her family, love for
her husband, and love for God
•Wrote privately, but brotherin-law brought some poems
to England where they were
•Unusual for her to write
poetry in this fashion as
women were in more
traditional roles in this
society, but Bradstreet
blended “depravity” with
“hope” and didn’t challenge
authority with her writing
The Romantics
• Developed in the 1830s both
in connection with, and in
opposition to Romanticism
• Transcendentalism refers to
the idea that in finding God, the
universe, and the self/soul, one
must transcend typical human
experience in the physical world
•Marked by a “return” to
nature, and trust in intuition
rather than deliberate
rationality and intellectualism
• Believed that self-reliance
and individualism must
outweigh external
authority, and selfimprovement leads to
social improvement
• Worked to find the
“permanent reality that
underlies physical
• Optimism about the
potential of individual
lives and the universe
Transcendentalist Humor
Famous Transcendentalists
• Ralph Waldo Emerson
AKA Lead
• Henry David Thoreau AKA
neighbor and friend to L.T.
• Margret Fuller AKA one of
the first major feminist
writers in the US
• Amos Bronson Alcott AKA
father to Louisa May
Henry David Thoreau
• 1817-1862, born in Concord, MA.
• Went to Harvard, very well-read, but many felt
he squandered his talents and connections
(including Emerson)
• Influenced by Emerson
• Went “into the woods” to journey inwards in a
T. fashion. Built a small cabin on Emerson’s
land two miles from town. Lived there for
three years, writing, thinking, and studying life
• Wrote “Resistance to Civil
Government” while on
Walden Pond after being
arrested for not paying poll
tax (supported MexicanAmerican War) because he
felt it extended slavery.
• Died in 1862. Apparently
asked on his deathbed if he’s
made peace with God (by his
aunt). His reply: “I didn’t
know that we had ever
Walden Pond
“Resistance to Civil Government”
• Response to being jailed for one night for not
paying poll tax
• Discusses the role of the individual in society
and to his/her government
• Employs rhetoric devices of: ethos, logos,
• Inspired authors and thinkers like MLK and
Gandhi around passive/non-violent resistance
Ethos, Logos, Pathos
• Ethos is appeal based on the character of the
speaker or moral or widely accepted values
and/or standards
• Logos is appeal based on logic or reason; it
uses facts, examples, and well-reasoned
• Pathos: is an appeal based on emotion and
language and anecdotes that arouse strong