English Literature – 2 | 12/02 Notes

Puritanism & Puritans

The roots of USA go back to Puritanism. Puritanism was a religion related issue, actually it was a reform movement.

This reform movement started to purify the Anglican Church. They thought that the people were being pulled away from the true virtues of the Church, for this reason this reform movement started.

These puritans had a certain way of dressing, they dressed in black and white for example ladies wore black dresses with white collars. Their homes were very simple. The kind of church they wanted to go and pray in was simple. The man wore mostly black and they had pointy hats.

The puritans believed in the teachings of Calvin. This man claims that there is no free will. Although it doesn’t put out free will completely, it pretty much conflicts with it. Calvin taught that it was okay to work for money. Calvin proposed money making businesses and his believers wanted to make a lot of money.

Puritans were not poor people, they were people who was rich and chosen a simplistic life style.

Civil War Broke Out (Royalists vs Parliament)

Puritans did not support the king as majority of the parliament consisted of puritans and as the king wasn’t a good king.

In this civil war, puritans were being hunted and most of them stayed in England but a lot of them fled the country, first to Netherlands and then most of them fled to United States and they established the first Colonies, they worked and lived in the new world. The first settlers of the United States were puritans, criminals, whores, so all of these people either fled to USA or they wanted to start a new life in the States. This new life in the states was basically puritan.

Movies Recommendation: Scarlet Letter

Puritanism in Literature

John Milton

He was a great writer but he was very tempered. He was highly intelligent, he studied at Cambridge and took lessons over health but he wasn’t happy with his major, so he changed his major to mathematics. He was a very

After finishing Cambridge, he continued his studies on his own for 5 years and learned to speak Italy.

He supported the Puritanism, he was a supporter of the parliament. He had some conflicts such as he believed in independence, individualism and freedom but contrary to himself he believed that all these should have a limit to themselves.

He wrote poems, he wrote propaganda for the puritans but at that he wrote his masterpiece known as Paradise Lost.

In English there are multiple words that means Cennet in Turkey such as Paradise, Heaven, Eden.

John Milton was a religious man and he wanted to write about an epic. In this epic he didn’t only want to write about heroes and villains but he wanted to write a religious epic. He wanted to base it on the Bible.

He wanted to make it his mission that anyone who read his work would accept the God as the Almighty Creator. He wanted to argue many things that got brought by the puritanism.

He wanted to talk about;

Fate:
Free Will:
Predestination:
Destiny:
Justice:

He wanted to talk about all these in setting of Bible. He borrowed the story of Genesis.

Story of Genesis from the Christian Perspective
———

———

God did not want Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Eve because that would cause them lose their innocence. You would do bad only when you lose your innocence.

Before eating from the tree, Adam and Eve were innocent.

Milton wanted to work on this story in the form of poetry but he wanted it to be a grand production. It is an Epic written in 12 books. He was blind when he was writing these books and his wife, secretary and daughters helped him to complete this hard task.

Providence: It’s an idea from Puritanism that means God sees all and has the power to determine all.

Man’s first disobedience is the subject of Paradise Lost. In the beginning of Paradise Lost, Satan already rebelled against the God and they were thrown into Hell.

The power of mind; Satan claims that living in paradise may be a hell for him and living in hell may be a heaven for him depending on his perspective. He chooses hell over heaven for his beliefs and cause. In this situation the pride in himself shows itself as the chooses to reign over Hell rather than being a servant in Heaven.

[John Milton was criticized for making Satan as hero of his Epic, in this Paradise Lost, Satan has a character that makes you relate to him and understand him]

God speaks of Adam and Eve and points out that all these were their fault, that they did this to themselves. Adam and Eve had fallen from Heaven, had fallen from the eyes of God, had fallen from good to evil for committing the sin. But, God, knew all these would happen all along. He claims that he created Adam and Eve to able to choose good and stood but he also let them to commit sins which resulted in banishment.

Predestination vs Foreknowledge

[In the description of Paradise Lost, Tree of Life is next to Tree of Knowledge]

Satan wants to a revenge as he is kicked from paradise, he believes that he didn’t deserve that. He knew that God loves his creations and especially Adam and Eve. Satan had this idea of tricking Adam and Eve and make them disobey God. He feels that it is a better idea to start with Eve as Adam is in love with Eve and Adam will do everything for Eve. He enters to Eve’s dream and he starts talking about nice things and giving ideas, when she wakes up and talks with Adam, Adam warns Eve about Satan. Later on, when they get separated, Satan disguises himself as a serpent and he tells Eve “5-6”, he then succeeds in his plan and she loses her innocence. After all these, Eve wants Adam to eat the fruit and he eats the fruit for the love he has for Eve. After they lose their innocence, they release that they are naked (they were naked all along) and they try to hide their body parts and they feel ashamed. Finally, God banishes them for committing the sin.

Milton justifies the ways of God with this Epic.

After a while Milton wrote another book as sequel to this book and the book is about Jesus and the name of the book is Paradise Regained.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s