February 5, 2018
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This paragraph in the poem struck me because of the suddenness, the guilt, the reverence, and seriousness of their actions directly correlating to their relationship with God. The meaning is to not get too comfortable and not think that sin is going unnoticed. Not only will fellow neighbors but also God and Christ will weep at the sins. The beginning of the poem starts harsh with imagery of sin, virginity, and warnings. Now begins a rhythmic beat almost as if things are now rushing into the embarrassment, darkness, and finality of sin.
Jessica, I like what you said here. There is a very definite change in tone in this stanza that stands out from the rest of the piece. I like what you said at the end about the rhythm “rushing” into sin and its awful aspects. I too was struck by they way the poem turned slightly here to represent more of the sinful aspects with the rhythm that seems to newly develop in this paragraph. It is always mind blowing to me how devoted these people were to God and their religious outlook on every aspect of life.
This reading was so different from those that we’ve read previously. I was struck throughout the reading by the intense imagery. This paragraph, however, stuck out to me with the most powerful imagery. It states that God cried for the Dead to arise and the Judgement come, and “No sooner said, but ’tis obeyed;/sepulchers opened are;/Dead bodies all rise at His call,” (NAAL 297). This imagery of the dead rising at God’s call was a horrible image that was engrained into my mind. I found it interesting that previously, God has been described as a great and gracious God, while here a very different picture is painted of Him. Instead of seeing Grace here, I see more of Damnation. In my mind, resurrection of the dead is more closely aligned with Satan and demons, not with God and His Grace. Someone can correct or inform me, but through the reading, I didn’t fully understand why God raised the dead. In the margins of the book it states, “1. Thes. 4.16 Resurrection of the dead. Joh. 5.28-29” (NAAL 297). Is this just written in reference to the Bible, or is there another alternate purpose here?
I, too, was struck at the vastly different tone that this work has in comparison to many others that we have read before this. While other works were highly legalistic and showed no grace to their fellow man, they consistently reference to the grace that God had shown to them. However, in this work, we see the destruction that divine wrath and judgement bring to the earth, ending in the final climactic lines: “Dead bodies all rise at his call, / and’s mighty Power declare.” I think a part of this comes from the content that is being conveyed. the Bible portrays the end times in terrifying, confusing and sometimes violent imagery, and this piece takes further creative license to themes that already show some of those elements. Whereas Taylor and Bradstreet chose to focus on the daily Christian walk, Wigglesworth choses to focus on the prophetic works in Isaiah, Daniel and Revelation which already tend to be less ‘grace-full’ and instead focus on the damnation of the non-elect.
I thought this paragraph exemplified some of the themes that we discussed in class. It discusses the themes of absolute sovereignty of God “Whose glory bright, whose wond’rous Might, / whose Power Imperial.” Not only does Wigglesworth acknowledge the absolute sovereignty of God during this time, but he also brings up the theme of innate depravity and damnation in this stanza. Innate depravity is shown through the lines, “That tongues of men (nor Angel’s pen) / Cannot the same express,” and the following lines are an example of the fear of damnation that puritans had during this time. They’re scared to sin in God’s presence, so he says, “And therefore I must pass it by, / lest speaking should transgress.” I thought this stanza was a great example of how puritans resisted the modern ideas and sciences and chose to focus on the absolute sovereignty of God and man’s own innate depravity.
This paragraph stood out the most to me because of the damnation and divine judgment that can be found in it. Wigglesworth notes that the “Sinners awake, their hearts to ache,/trembling their loins surpriseth;/ Amaz’d with fear…” Those who are sinners and who have not repented are facing damnation due to God’s divine judgement. God is the one who decides who will be saved and who will not when his son returns. I feel like this paragraph is the paragraph where the sinners realize that they are damned to Hell.
This passage stuck out to me because I feel he is saying that if you don’t see God as your lord and savior, then he doesn’t see you. When he says “Now Atheist blind, whose brutish mind a God could never see” is where it really stood out to me. Then he asks if they don’t believe they will be judged. “Dost thou perceive, dost now believe that Christ thy Judge shall be?” This passage is really interesting to me because he is saying that atheist threaten the way of God, but it also sounds to me like he is threatening the atheist when he says “How cheer you now? Your hearts, I trow, are thrill’d as with a sword.”
Michael Wigglesworth, during this passage, draws attention to a concept that was touched on in a few of John Donne’s works. Whereby, Donne encourages his readers to not fear Death so much that they allow that fear to detract from their lives and daily communion with God. In this piece we can see that the suddenness and fear of death was (and is) a concern for most people, both in and out of religious communities. The author plays on the anxieties that a continual repeating experience of death causes most people, and uses that to warn against a life that would result in said experience occurring.
[dear Love’s transcendency,]
After reading the piece I though that another good term that could be added to this reading guide is transcendence. The notion of transcendency, especially as depicted here, follows well with the Puritan concepts of Election and salvation vs. damnation.
In this stanza, grace is a central theme. Wigglesworth is discussing the idea of behavior versus grace. When he says “No hiding place can from his Face, sinner at all conceal,” he is telling his audience that God knows whether you are true. It’s the same idea we have seen previously: Puritans don’t want hypocrites amongst them, only those with internal faith, or grace. We also see the idea of divine judgement; God has the final say in what happens to the individual. God sees all, and he will judge you as he sees fit.
I agree with you, as I read through this stanza it did feel as if the theme of Grave or forgiveness against behavior. The idea that there is a high power and you are never truly alone because God is always watching. There is also the idea as you mentioned that only those with internal faith and are truly loyal and follow the religion are worthy of salvation. Aside from the message in the stanza the entire poem is very well put together and flows well which makes its very appealing.
This passage was interesting to me because in out previous readings, nature was always an extension of God’s majesty and power, an example of the Puritan reflex through its beauty. In this stanza however, nature is actually afraid of God, fleeing from Him “so soon as he draws near”. In this way, Wigglesworth’s poem seems to also be an example of the Puritan reflex, but instead of focusing on nature’s beauty, it shows that things as huge and powerful like the mountains and the sea pale in comparison to God’s absolute sovereignty.
I have to admit to laughing out loud when I read this stanza. Wigglesworth proves adept at using condemnatory phrasing to clearly indicate the desire for the damned to essentially do God’s job and end themselves immediately. The irony here is evidenced by Wigglesworth’s reproach to Satan’s perpetually damned but happy followers to not fear their predestined eternity in hell. It is abundantly clear why this epic poem was wildly popular as it gives a clever and scathing voice to the idea of Puritanical election.
To me, this stanza sounds as if God conflicts with those he created. In his anger, he rips Heaven apart in search of those he is displeased with. The line “His Brightness damps Heav’n’s glorious Lamps” this could have more than one meaning. I can interpret this as saying that his anger is brighter than the peace and beauty before him in Heaven, or that in comparison to everything he outshines anything. The last two line can show that the sinner, and the darkness, can’t stand the brightness of good. He shows his light to show them the correct path and the lead them away from wickedness.
Stanzas 182-184 concern revelations 6.16-17, which the KJV of the bible says: 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
These verses seem to beg the question, how will you face the wrath of God and Jesus on the final day, how will you be judged? The language in Michael Wigglesworth’s stanzas 182-184, demonstrate what that day, outlined in Revelations, may be like, where God is “Judge”, sinners are damned to everlasting pain, and what seems to be a final roll call to those who believe they will be saved. These three stanzas seemed to be intended for the reader who is a sinner, to tell them that the worst will come for you, damnation, if you do not repent and remain pious. Perhaps the most heavy hitting lines in this stanza are that damnation would be so terrible that you will wish you have never been born. This seems like proper motivation to the “ungodly” to change and follow God.
This passage also stuck out to me. I agree with Ries that he seems to be saying that if you do not see God as your lord, then he does not see you. This is very interesting to me because I think that people really believed this at this time. They believed that if you did not worship God, then he had no love for you, and would not save you. It is just amazing to me that people could have ever thought this about God. I think that now, people think that God is forgiving to everyone, even those you do not worship him.
In this stanza I noticed the correlation between Bradford’s teachings on how he wanted to inspire a generation of Puritans by warning them about the dangers and ramifications of worldly temptations, desires, as well as prosperity and materialism, and the fate of those who did not abide by the Puritan way of life in Wigglesworth’s poem. “You had a season; what was your reason such precious hours to waste? What could you find, what could you mind that was of greatest haste.” This is the answer it was given to those facing eternal damnation. Here they felt convicted and wanted another opportunity. These lines touch on divine judgment and carnal reason. The sinner lost focus and spend their days on vain endeavors giving no importance to spiritual matters and soul preparation for eternity.
This stanza stuck out to me because of the harsh wording. While this type of word choice prevalent throughout the work it seems exceptionally cruel here. The first two lines here are especially cruel. Also, I would like to bring attention away from the meaning for a moment to comment on the form of this work. This work follows an ABABACDCD rhyme scheme and flows nicely due to the number of syllables in each line. The syllable structure is 8, 6, 8, 6, 8, 7, 8, 7. I think it is important to note the precise form that the work takes, along with the word choice. It is beautiful and form but cruel in meaning, but that is the point. Also, this work seems very similar in meaning to some things we will be reading by Jonathan Edwards for next class.
The language of this poem stands out to me because it is so vivid and dark. I’m reminded of the old testament with a vengeful, unforgiving God more than the new testament in which Christ has saved humanity. “No heart so bold, but now grows cold, / and almost dead with fear” this is not a very encouraging image, it’s rather frightening, and continues throughout the poem. Powerful men “Are quite abasht, their courage dasht, / at this most dreadful sight.” The new testament is filled with plenty of happy images and a loving God, but this is clearly not the case in this poem.
This passage particularly stood out to me because it seems to convey the message of the poem very well. Encourage people to consider their own spiritual devotion to God, the poem as a whole seems to be an awaken call for the people. Wigglesworth states that the sheep stand “at Christ’s right hand” and that because of this they are “champions” and God is appealed with them at judgment day. The example of the others in the scriptures who serve Christ is a message to the rest of the people to consider where there own spiritual devotion to Christ is, so on judgment day God can be “appealed” with them as well.
In this stanza, I can see how Wigglesworth is quoting questions that his fellow Puritans may be asking of God. Asking for forgiveness and hoping God will have mercy on them. However, Puritans believe you are either born damned or not. God knows the outcome of your life and where you will end up, so why question him? They ask for mercy but Puritans that even if you show a shred of doubt, you’re going to hell. Wigglesworth is a firm believer and preacher of the Puritan rules and way of living. This entire poem reflects that. Asking for forgiveness on the ‘Day of Doom’ may not get you into heaven if you lead a life of sin and I see how this poem reflects this thought. Wigglesworth is trying to show the reader a purpose to live out their lives the holy way and not to stray from God’s presence.
This paragraph struck me due to the suddenness and doom of the passage. In the fifth line, “Sinners awake, their hearts do ache,” it can be seen the Puritan belief in the all powerful sovereign of God and need to devote themselves wholly to him for fear of repercussion due to internal sin along with poor earthly choices. The last two lines, “Amaz’d with fear…each one of them ariseth” uses scripture to ascertain the actions and thoughts of those not under God’s favor and calls to mind scripture referring to the final dayss when the wicked arise and not everyone saying “Lord, Lord” will be saved because of poor choices made on Earth. The scriptural emphasis is also seen with the term the World, relating the idea that they are saved due to what they’ve seen and earned, and are different from the World also relating to scripture, “we are not of this world.” The suddenness is seen in the third line, “…speedily an hideous cry” shocking these ones into subservience and forcing them to pay for their actions.
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February 14, 2018 at 11:10 pm
See in context
February 13, 2018 at 8:35 am
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April 30, 2018 at 10:35 pm
In Charles Brockden Brown’s article, “The Difference between History and Romance” he writes about the novel, Wieland, and the relationship that the novel has between history and romance. He explains how history and romance are intertwined and how imperfections of man are part of our future, present, and past. In this paragraph, Clara is overtaken by her senses of this man, “I count among the most extraordinary incidents of my life”. Clara is an irrational character taken over by romantic ideas. Her history and her future are based on her emotional decisions. There is no separation between the two. Brockden Brown writes, “when busy in assigning motives to actions, are not historians but romancers.” Which relates directly to what is happening to Clara in this passage. When talking about history, it is the “noting and recording of the actions of men” which I think is very important because mankind is often if not always driven by passion and emotion. This also plays well with the strong theme of passion and emotion that is current throughout Wieland and all the characters.
Barnard, Philip, and Stephen Shapiro, editors. “The Difference Between History and Romance.” Wieland or the Transformation, with Related Texts, by Charles Brockden Brown, Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2009, pp. 195–198.
April 27, 2018 at 11:10 pm
This passage is very focused on individualism, Franklin seems to be looking at the better things in his life instead of focusing on the negative. He doesn’t dwell on the idea that he wish he lived life without committing fault instead he touches on it and shifts into how he’s basically glad with how he’s lived life. In “Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography and the Education of America.” Steven Forde presents the idea that Franklin Autobiography should be used as a model of developing good character and morals. Franklin states, “conceived the bold and arduous project of arriving at moral perfection”, but soon realizes that he had, “undertaken a task of more difficulty than he had imagined.” Forde believes, “each of the loopholes… is deliberate”. The loopholes represent another idea, that being that when striving for greater morality the individual must also take all aspects of life in consideration and be reasonable. Forbes introduces another idea, “If Franklin had viewed virtue more strictly, he might have been forced to give up on it”.
Forde, Steven. “Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography and the Education of America.” The American Political Science Review, vol. 86, no. 2, 1992, pp. 357–368. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/1964225.
April 27, 2018 at 4:40 pm
In her article “What’s Wrong With Charlotte Temple” Marion Rust addresses Charlotte’s passions as well as her inability to make decisions and relates it to her overall fall from her position in society. Rust uses this paragraph as an example of Charlotte’s indecisiveness. Here it is exemplified that Charlotte can’t even make a simple decision on her own. She has to reach out to her mentor in order to decide what to even do with something as simple as a written letter. Rust catapults off this point by claiming that Charlotte’s future will continue to be unguided and spiral downward farther than she already has. Rust bases this claim on the idea that Charlotte will not be able to support herself because she is always looking to some one outside herself to guide her through obstacles.
Rust, Marion. “What’s Wrong with ‘Charlotte Temple?”.” The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 60, no. 1, 2003, pp. 99–118. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3491497.
April 27, 2018 at 4:16 pm
Andrew Scheiber’s article “The Arm Lifted against Me”: Love, Terror and the Construction of Gender in “Wieland” explores Clara’s gendered role in Charles Brockden Brown’s Wieland. Scheiber points to patterns of Clara’s marginalization and enclosure throughout the story, specifically in relation to her role in the context of the familial structure of the story’s plot. Scheiber explains that, “though the Age of Reason invites her to identify herself with the life of the mind, Clara is barred by her womanhood from fully achieving such an identification, since the gender ideology of the times defines the intellect as secondary rather than primary, to the essence of “feminine” nature” (Schieber 178) which is an interesting perspective considering the emphasis on reason and intellect throughout the story, and the fact that Clara is the primary protagonist of the story. Schieber claims that when Clara questions the audience, “was I not likewise transformed from rational and human into a creature of nameless and fearful attributes” (Brown 137) that she is exposing her “self-condemnation” that is born out of the gendered system that relates “rational” and “human” on the masculine side of gender axis, and the negation of those qualities to the feminine side of the axis.
Brown, Charles Brockden, Philip Barnard, and Stephen Shapiro. Wieland ; or the Transformation. An American Tale with Related Texts. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub., 2009. Print.
Scheiber, Andrew J. “‘The Arm Lifted against Me’: Love, Terror, and the Construction of Gender in ‘Wieland.’” Early American Literature, vol. 26, no. 2, 1991, pp. 173–194.
April 27, 2018 at 4:07 pm
In his article, entitled ‘Rip Van Winkle and the Generational Divide in American Culture’, scholar Robert A. Ferguson examines the character of Rip Van Winkle in depth and identifies some of the key flaws that keep this iconic figure of early American Folklore in conversation to this day. One of the flaws identified in Ferguson’s article is the issue of drink, which is brought up in the selected paragraph. Ferguson argues that Rip’s problems with being a “naturally thirsty soul” can be attributed to and explain his lack of success in life: “Habitual drinking keeps him from the steady application that every good farm requires” (533). This explanation of Rip’s tendency to ‘bum around’ aligns to the events of the story, as well as illuminating a reason why he continues to be a influential character in American literature. According to Ferguson, “We value Rip most of all because we find something of our own foibles in him, not because we worry about drink or because we fear an encounter with Heinrich Hudson when we enter the Kaatskill Mountains. Rip’s faults…are our own bad habits carried to extremes. Irving keeps to the lighter side of these extremes” (533-534). Through the relatable aspects and complexities of Rip’s character, readers throughout the years are enabled, through Irving’s lighthearted storytelling, to return to this original American folktale with as timeless a perspective as the readers who scanned the first print-warmed lines of this work.
Ferguson, Robert A. “Rip Van Winkle and the Generational Divide in American Culture.” Early American Literature, vol. 40, no. 3, 2005, pp. 529–544. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/25057421.
April 27, 2018 at 3:46 pm
In “Charlotte Temple and the End of Epistolarity” by Blythe Forcey, it is said that the motherly affection of the narrator is what really makes this story relatable. I found this article to be interesting because I think that it very true. I think the way that the narrator acts in a motherly way really helps the story along. Forcey states, “Early American readers were able, as they read this novel, to live through a nightmare of dislocation, alienation, and abandonment that mapped their worst fears. But, guided by the careful and caring narrative of Mrs. Rowson, they emerged safe and unscathed, with all troubling ambiguities and terrors temporarily put to rest” (227-228). I think this is a very important quote because it makes you, as the reader, realize just how good of an author Susana Rowson truly was. To be able to make her readers feel safe even during a scary time, all due to the way this story is narrated. Forcey also states, “The motherly character of Rowson’s narrative voice is evident from her first addresses to the reader… Thus she offers, quite explicitly, to stand in for those ‘natural friends’ that the reader might have lost and to protect them from the horrors of the world” (228). I think this is a very important statement as well. Forcey makes it clear that even from the very first sentence of this story, Susana Rowson manages to take our hand and make us feel safe.
Forcey, Blythe. “Charlotte Temple and the End of Epistolarity.” American Literature, vol. 63, no. 2, 1991, pp. 225–241. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/2927163.
April 27, 2018 at 3:45 pm
I also really loved this line. The Earth is the beginning and the end of the cycle of life, and that gets so overlooked in our day to day struggles. Nature and death are like you said, both important parts of the cycle of life. The connection being made in these two lines applies to most of what we have studied through the semester in this class. Even the puritans had themes of nature as a part of their beliefs. Nature and death are the two things that connect humanity because no human on Earth can avoid either one of these things. We will all die and become a part of nature once more, because that is how we began the cycle.
April 27, 2018 at 3:12 pm
Within this passage, we witness the first instance of Charlotte beginning to distrust her own instincts. While at the party she was led to believe would be fun and entertaining, she realizes that being obedient and staying home would have been better than sneaking out with La Rue. As the story progresses we see Charlotte trust those instincts less and, according to Marion Rust’s article “What’s Wrong with ‘Charlotte Temple'”, her behavior becomes increasingly described as some “form of collapse, in which her future direction is determined by nothing more deliberate than her center of gravity.” This continual falling down that Charlotte experiences effectively acts to demonstrate Rowson’s commentary on the unreliability of young women’s own moral character and how they are insufficiently able to stand up to the force of external moral corruption.
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Rust, Marion. “What’s Wrong with ‘Charlotte Temple?”.” The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 60, no. 1, 2003, pp. 99–118.
April 27, 2018 at 2:25 pm
Throughout her essay, “Olaudah Equiano, Written by Himself”, Cath N. Davidson expresses the aspects which make the text so significant. She explains the strength of emotion that is brought because the narrative is told from Equiano himself. She also expresses that the non-traditional storytelling is what makes it interesting and evokes emotion throughout. Davidson ultimately points out that, “Many aspects of the text make it significant, but especially impressive is it expansive reach” (19). His story is told in many parts of the world and allows readers to feel this narrative from place to place based on his narrating abilities. For example, Equiano himself states “in the preceding chapter I have set before the reader a few of those many instances of oppression, extortion, and cruelty, which I have been a witness to in the West Indies”. As readers have been taken from place to place Equiano stops to show the places he’s been and the things he’s seen. Davidson also points out the emotion-evoking tones and voice used by Equiano. Addressing the many aspects of the text Davidson writes, The text combines (in unequal parts) slave narrative, sea yarn, military adventure, ethnographic reportage, historical fiction, travelogue, picaresque saga, sentimental novel, allegory, tall tale, pastoral origins myth, gothic romance, conversion tale, and abolitionist tract, with different features coming to the fore at different times, and the mood vacillating accordingly” (20). His slave trade journey was terrible and cruel; as readers see Equiano journey from place to place they empathize with him more and begin to realize the terrible conditions in which he was under. The narrative of Equiano become more and more effective for readers because of the places Equiano takes us and the voice he uses to evoke that emotion out of readers.
Davidson, Cathy N. “Olaudah Equiano, Written by Himself.” NOVEL: A Forum on Fiction, vol. 40, no. 1/2, 2006, pp. 18–51. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/40267683.
April 27, 2018 at 1:26 pm
According to William Pencak, author of “Benjamin Franklin’s Biography, Cotton Mather, and a Puritan God,” in this paragraph, Franklin is defending the stakes on which he wrote his autobiography, as well as defending his own morality. Franklin was very dedicated to his moral standing with himself and God and went through extreme measures to ensure that he would end up on the ‘right’ side of things. This particular passage is about the ‘justification of his book’ which ‘illustrates an important philosophical point: the need for ideal principles, realized in practice, to subdue “Natural Inclination,” as well as the bad effects of, “Custom and Company” (Pencak 8). The ‘artifice’ that Franklin describes represents the civilization of people that he is surrounded by and he believes that they should be informed of his knowledge, life, and commitment to God. Franklin didn’t believe that being religious meant attending church, donating to pastors, or things alike. It was about believing in God, Praying honestly, and being virtuous. Throughout this autobiography, Franklin defends and justifies his beliefs and morality.
Pencak, William. “BENJAMIN FRANKLIN’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY, COTTON MATHER, AND A PURITAN GOD.” Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, vol. 53, no. 1, 1986, pp. 1–25. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/27773087.
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