Ideals Of A Society? Essay, Research PaperThe attitudes and beliefs of a peculiar clip period are reflected in first manuspaperss, intentionally and unwittingly through the prejudices and ideals of the writers of thepieces. The chesty self-seeking attitude of the first settlement is reflected in Captain JohnSmith? s, ? The General History of Virginia.
? The Puritans pietistic ideals arereflected in the essay by William Bradford, ? Of Plymouth Plantation. ? Finally the fright ofthe unknown by the settlers is shown in Cotton Mather? s contemplation on the Salem WitchTests, ? The Wonders of the Invisible world. ? In all of the paperss, the prejudices andbelieves of the writers show the attitudes of the people at the clip.Captain John Smith epitomizes the self-seeking attitude of the first settlement in hisessay, ? The General History of Virginia. ? Smith is non interested in what people in hisclip think of his authorship. His work is written so future coevalss will see Captain JohnSmith ( he refers to himself in 3rd individual ) as a hero. Harmonizing to Smith it was whollyhis making that the settlement was established. He says, ? The New President and Martin, beingsmall beloved, of weak judgement in dangers, and less industry in peace, committed themanaging of all things abroad to Captain Smith & # 8230 ; , ? significance that the President is weak andinferior to himself, and goes on to state, ? & # 8230 ; who by his ain illustration, good words, and carnivalpromises & # 8230 ; himself ever bearing the greatest undertaking for his ain portion & # 8230 ; ? Feeling that hewas responsible for the endurance of the settlement, Smith shows his attitude of self publicity.
This was the belief of many people of the clip who wanted to be remembered. Smithdoes non take all the recognition for his work. He believes that God is assisting him. The Indiansdid non assist Smith by their ain agreement, ? But all-powerful God ( by his Godhead Providence ) hadmollified the Black Marias of those austere savages. ? ( Smith ) Again his feeling of high quality showswhen, he believes the Indians are non human plenty to move with out the aid of God.Smith believes that God is entirely on his side.The Puritans, who believed God had chosen them to be the 1s who get to come inEden, besides believed they were above everyone else.
In William Bradford? s essay, ? OfPlymouth Plantation, ? he exemplifies the belief that the Puritan settlement as a complete entity( instead than Smith who promoted merely himself ) is superior. In their ainself-righteousness, the Puritans felt that non-Puritautonomic nervous systems, ? did non merit aid at theircustodies, ? but gave it to turn out themselves better than others. Rather than making workss thatwould advance them in their ain life clip, the Puritans worked for the hereafter. They allbelieved that since God take them, all that they had to make to acquire into Eden was to populatepure lives. Bradford is non as hostile towards the Indians-he does non mention to them assavages-as Smith, but as with Smith, Bradford believes that the Indians were? particularinstrument [ s ] sent of God for their good & # 8230 ; ? The Puritan people were bias towards allnon-Puritans, non needfully on intent, but more unwittingly by their spiritualinstructions.The Puritans besides held a fright of the unknown.
They believed that the Satan was aphysical being who lived in the wood. He cohorts were enchantresss who did his immorality command.Anything unusual that happened in the community was attributed to witchcraft. ? TheWonders of the Invisible World, ? by Cotton Mather shows the test of one such enchantress bythe name of Martha Carrier.
The claims of the people in the test seem to be grosslyexaggerated as to do a stronger instance against Cather. Claims such as, ? several gallons ofcorruptness, ? running from a lesion and, ? he could thrust a knitwork acerate leaf into his lesionfour inches deep, ? show the hyperbole used to convict suspected enchantresss. The victims( those accused of witchery ) were by and large those who, such as Martha Cather, were nonupstanding members of the Puritan community.
Mather sums up the Puritan intolerancefor members of the community who are non upstanding in his memoranda, ? Thisrampant had, Martha bearer, was the individual of whom the confessions of the enchantresss andof her ain kids among the remainder agreed that the Satan had promised her she should bequeen of Hell. ? Anything that was non understood was attributed to witchcraft during theearly old ages of America in the Puritan settlements. This showed the fright and deficiency ofapprehension of the universe the Puritans had.Primary paperss give first-class penetration into the life styles of the period in whichthey are written. The prejudices expressed by the writers show the feelings of the clip.
Different people of the same clip portion different believes ( i.e. the Puritans compared toJohn Smith ) . Much can be gained through the survey of primary paperss of a clipperiod ; the alone nature of primary beginning stuff is a brilliant manner to acquire a true feel forthe people of a certain clip period.