Enlightenment

In: English and Literature

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Bradford and the settlers of Plymouth Plantation were not only religiously devout but had an entirely different set of values from those of the Enlightenment. Bradford has little or no acceptance of diversity. In Bradford’s writings he expresses a feeling of complete alienation from people who were not of the separatist colony with which he arrived. He describes the native people of America as savages who he fears. He shows little or no acceptance of anyone besides the separatists. Bradford makes a reference to some of the men who traveled with him by telling that he was, “occasioned partly by the discontented and mutinous speeches of that some of the strangers amongst them had let fall from them in the ship.” They strangers he refers to are the men on the Mayflower that came for economic opportunity. Bradford’s negative view of any that came for or tried to achieve economic advance shows a clear difference of Bradfords values from that of Enlightenment writers. Bradford being a puritan sees economic prosperity as a distraction from the practicing the will of god. When more settlers begin to arrive in Plymouth Plantation the community and economy expand. Bradford writes, “many were much enriched, and commodities grew plentiful; and yet in other regards this benefit turned to their hurt, and this accession of strength to their weakness.” The commodities were also a means for distraction in Bradford’s mind as they may make one wander from the path they take to get to heaven. Bradford expresses his feelings towards the indulgence in early pleasures when Thomas Morton establishes Merry Mount: “After this they fell to great licentiousness, and led a dissolute life, pouring out themselves into all profaneness. And Morton became lord of misrule, and maintained a school of…...

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