The American Identity in Relation to Puritan Values

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Margaret Westman
Mrs. Keiser
American Literature
30 August, 2012
The American Identity
Our modern society varies greatly from that of the Puritans in the 1600’s. The United States is decadent and materialistic; the sense of community no longer applies in many regions. The American Identity is not shaped by Puritan values because of our immorality and crime. Immorality is a part of life for a significant fraction of our nation. Firstly, “Playboy” magazine, which has been around for almost a century, is a magazine that contains revealing pictures of women. The Puritans were very conservative when it came to their bodies; they believed it was private and not to be shown to others. Secondly, in the past twenty years, the television shows broadcasted have become increasingly more risqué. The series True Blood is rife with revealing scenes and graphic language. This series would not have been shown in a Puritan community. Immorality is not a puritan value, but one the U.S. possesses. The Puritan value of help one another no longer apply because of crime. Murder is rare but not unheard of in Emmett County; people kill for reasons such as cheating spouses and revenge. Puritans did not cheat on their significant other or believe in vengeance. Everything was by God’s will, and he did not permit the killing of others. However, due to the increase in population today, people are not as friendly with one another and have been forced to steal from others to survive. With the structure and beliefs of the Puritan community, neighbors would not have had to thieve. Crime is proof of the nation’s lack of Puritan values. Due to the immorality and crime, the American Identity is not shaped by Puritan values. People are revealing in what they write and produce. The Puritans were simplistic in their views and conservative in their daily lives. There is a huge contrast in our modern society versus the Puritan life.
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