Compare and Contrast Puritan Culture and Literature with That of the Southern Culture in Early America. Use Examples from the Works We'Ve Read to Support Your Statements.

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There are many similarities and differences between the Puritans, their culture and their literature, and that of their Southern counterparts. Both cultures valued work to some degree. Puritan literature was written plainly to reflect their plain lives, while Southern literature was ornate and decorated with colorful expressions, reflecting Southern life. The Puritans, unlike the Southerners, who lived slow paced lives, tried to glorify God in their every action. The similaries and differences present themselves in many ways. Work was important to Puritans as well as Southerners. To each culture, however, work had a different meaning. To the Puritans, work was physical labor, like tilling fields or building the homes of the colony. The work the Southerners valued was not physical labor but management. The Southerners had slaves to do the physical work, but without their masters the slaves did not get much done. This is revealed by W. Byrd in "A Progress to the Mines" when he is talking to Col. Spotswood on Spotswood's management of his land. Thus both accomplished work in different respects.

Literature reflected the lives of both cultures. Puritan literature was plain and did not emphasize the writer, but tried to glorify God, as in W. Bradford's journal. Puritans used no similes or metaphors, because these glorified the writer, not God. Southerners, however, used showy language in literature much more freely. They believed in living life to the fullest, and this was shown through their literature as well as what possessions they had. Southern literature reflected Southern life, just as Puritan literature reflected Puritan life.

The Puritans, in their lives, tried to glorify God in everything they did. They believed the best way to glorify God and also to get to heaven (or at least make one's neighbor believe he is going to heaven) was hard labor. The Puritans tried to see the connection to God in their own work, and their neighbors often checked on them,...
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