Religion in Literary Works
Throughout the writings of Cusick, Columbus, Bradford, and Bradstreet we see an underlying theme; religion. In the times that this literature was written, we see religion playing a huge part in daily life. If God accepted you and you were said to be pre-determined for heaven, you thought of yourself above or greater than others. Now not all thought this way, some people just viewed God as an overall spiritual leader whom everyone should follow and did not quite look down on others in their literature.
In the Iroquois Creation story written by David Cusick, we see a similar storyline to the Christian beliefs. The religious tone in this piece of work is far from subtle. Cusick describes the tale of the Iroquois and how they came to be. He explains how a pregnant women, who did not sexually conceive her children, was giving birth to twins, one good and one evil. The good twin created the world and all the good in it while the evil twin caused havoc and worked on tearing the world apart. The good and evil twin got into a competition in which the evil twin lost and sunk down into the underworld to rule people’s lives after death; presumably Hell. This story was very prominent with religion but some of the others are not as clear.
In Christopher Columbus’s writing he talks about the new land he found and how great it is. He says all these wonderful things about the land so he can get the King and Queen to keep funding his expedition, but as we red further we can see his religion coming through the text. Columbus feels a sense of pride for his religion and thinks he is better than the people he is meeting because he is more civilized(meaning he has a better education, is better dressed, and has a strong religion that he feels everyone should follow). We see him mention this when he says, “myself gave them many beautiful and acceptable articles which I had brought with me, taking nothing from them in return; I did this in order that I might the more easily conciliate them, that they might be led to become Christians”(Columbus). Columbus clearly states that he was trying to persuade the Natives to be a part of Christianity which we can assume he is doing because he thinks it will make them better people and he will be able to better control them in their own land.
William Bradford also discusses religion quite a bit in his literary texts. He talks about pleasing God and things done to make God happy. He also discusses how God showed mercy upon men. Bradford takes most things as a blessing from God, such as a comfortable morning or a nice day. He thanks God for what he has been given and in return all his actions are in hoped to please God. Anne Bradstreet also had a religious undertone in her poetry although it was not as prominent as the rest of the readings. In one of her poems she says, “What nature would, God grant to your and you”(Bradstreet). When I interpreted this I came to the conclusion that she is saying, God will bless you with what you need in your life and things will be okay. I interpreted it this way because in the lines prior she is discussing how she does not have very much longer to live and she wants her husband to know that God will be there for him and grant him what he deserves in his life even after she is no longer present. In conclusion, all the literary works read this week have a common connection of religion and in all the texts, religion is viewed as a good thing that everyone should be a part of for it will bless you in your life and give you purpose.