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The New [World] Testament

In: English and Literature

Submitted By dvisais
Words 1879
Pages 8
Dustin Isais
Professor Shakir
American Literature I
29 September 2013
The New [World] Testament It's quite clear based on the literature of the day that the exploration of and expansion into the New World was seen as the ultimate epic of Christendom for 17th century Europeans. The ideation of the New World being an exotic land inhabited by savage natives guarding precious metals and herbs permeates colonial literature without question. Further, letters and journals of explorers like Thomas Hariott and John Smith along with colonists such as William Bradford and John Winthrop illustrate the unsettling mentality these people brought with them into the Americas. The depiction is of a self-important people driven by a misconstrued ancient text and motivated to fulfill their purpose as the chosen people of the sacred Bible. The commonality throughout the literature of settlement and exploration is purely driven by European hermeneutics and the persistence on becoming the antitype of the types present in the Bible. The New World ideation begins with Thomas Harriot's propagandistic A Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia.Harriot wrote optimistically and full of awe despite reocurring issues between the English and the natives of the New World. In fact, the escalating violence and rising tensions between the two is rarely mentioned. A misleading and cryptic sentence alluding to the less-than-peaceful circumstances reads, “And although some of our cmpany towards the end of the year showed themselves too fierce...by carefulness of ourselves [there is] nothing at all to be feared.” (Harriot, 42). Instead, Harriot chooses to write about the Native American's distorted view of the English. He explains, “Some...were of the [the] opinion that we were not born of women, and therefore not mortal, but that we were men of an old generation many years past, then…...

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