Colonial Synthesis In-Class Essay The literature of the Colonial Period has left a positive mark upon American culture. The connotations of the literature are sometimes hypocritical, and are often contradictory to other works at the time. As a result, the messages conveyed through writing have not been overlooked. Source A’s narrative of an enslaved African American arriving in America would just be one of many that would take place over the course of 200 years.
I remember in the vessel in which I was brought over, in the men's apartment, there were several brothers, who, in the sale, were sold in different lots; and it was very moving on this occasion to see and hear their cries at parting. “O, ye nominal Christians! might not an African ask you, learned you this from your God, who says unto you, Do unto all men as you would men should do unto you? ” (Source A). The excerpt bluntly criticizes more prominent works at that time, from the staunch Puritan literature of Taylor. Make me O Lord, Thy spinning wheel complete. ” (Source E) Taylor preached goodwill to men and stressed religious freedom, but he owned slaves at the same time. Jonathan Edwards, whom preached “So that, whatever some have imagined and pretended about promises made to natural men's earnest seeking and knocking, it is plain and manifest, that whatever pains a natural man takes in religion, whatever prayers he makes, till he believes in Christ, God is under no manner of obligation to keep him a moment from eternal destruction. (Source F) Many slave owners throughout the 18th and 19th century believed this, fueling conflicts like the Civil War and in some respect, the Civil Rights Movement. Racial persecution in the south can be attributed to blacks not necessarily being deemed by the Bible, as Puritans such as Edwards had preached. As a result, much of the negative bigotry had been sparked by Puritan work.
On the other hand, Eqiuano influenced a much more positive aspect of American culture, as his autobiography can be deemed one of the earliest Abolitionist works. It depicted the cruel and bitter environment of a slave ship, and the often futile fate of being a slave. By being one of the first AfricanAmerican authors, many more African Americans after him would be inspired to write themselves.
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For better or for worse, early Abolitionist writings like Eqiuano’s and religious works like Taylor’s both have a significant impact for centuries after they have been written. They model conflicting sides of a society condoning secularism and one that promotes it. Whatever the case may be, these writings have given us a glimpse of early society in America, and better our understanding about the ways people responded to controversial subjects like slavery.
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