The literature written during this time period reflects the important part the supernatural (God) played during those changing times. The new world was struggling for a new identity. Were these individuals also defining the role of God to themselves?
In the preceding discussion the lives of Mary Rowlandson and Benjamin Franklin will be discussed. Each wrote a narrative of their life experiences. There are marked contrasts and comparisons between these two individuals related to their perceptions of God.
Religion was a vital part of life in colonial America. A shift from theism to deism was occurring. The Puritans of this time were fleeing the Church of England. Their hope was to return to the more primitive ways, to reject the churches hierarchy and ritual.
Mary Rowlandson, a puritan in Lancaster, Massachusetts was captured by Indians, along with three of her children in the year 1676. In her narrative she relates the story of her survival in the wilderness for a period of three months. She is taken away from her home and husband, "all was gone (except my life); and I knew not but the next moment that might go too" (127). Benjamin Franklin's The Autobiography is an account of his life and begins with his boyhood life in Boston. He later flees to Philadelphia to escape his brother's rule over him. He relates how he was "dirty", "fatigu'd", and "Want of Rest" (222).
In these depictions we can see an analogy. These individuals are removed from their homes and families. Although Benjamin Franklin's removal was of his own free will. They each suffered as they no longer had the comforts of which they were accustomed.
Rowlandson's faith was remarkable considering all that she endured. Through out the narrative she must rely on her faith in God. She incorporates numerous verses from the Bible to offer explanations for all...