There are 7 critical essays on Of Plymouth Plantation.
Critical Essays on Of Plymouth Plantation
Critical Essay by David Read
11,692 words, approx. 39 pages
In the following essay, Read proposes that Bradford's history is best understood as an early development in economic historiography. Read focuses on differences between the first and second books, noting an emphasis on providential and genealogical history in the first and an emphasis on economics in the second.
Critical Essay by Mark L. Sargent
10,746 words, approx. 36 pages
In the following essay, Sargent examines Bradford's fictional dialogues between young men of New England and older colonists from Europe, comparing them to Of Plymouth Plantation. Sargent concludes that the dialogues shed light on Bradford's struggles within the Separatist movement as well as his ambivalence about the colonial project in North America.
Critical Essay by Jonathan Goldberg
9,827 words, approx. 33 pages
In this excerpt, Goldberg examines Bradford's treatment of sexuality, gender, and race in the process of “inclusion and exclusion” by which he defined the community depicted in Of Plymouth Plantation.
Critical Essay by E. F. Bradford
7,946 words, approx. 27 pages
In the following essay, the critic discusses the “plain style” of Of Plymouth Plantation, highlighting the techniques the author employed and the literary influences on the work to argue that Bradford's seemingly artless prose was achieved through careful design.
Critical Essay by Walter P. Wenska
7,705 words, approx. 26 pages
In the following essay, Wenska stresses that the two volumes of Of Plymouth Plantation present two distinct histories, the first celebrating new beginnings and the second providing a “retrospective search for significant order” and the meaning of history.
Critical Essay by G. Cuthbert Blaxland
5,243 words, approx. 18 pages
In this excerpt, published only a few decades after the discovery of the Bradford manuscript, Blaxland offers one of the earliest scholarly discussions of Bradford's Of Plymouth Plantation. Blaxland considers Bradford's style and influences, and attempts to show a deep connection between Bradford the individual and Bradford the historian.
Critical Essay by John Griffith
4,287 words, approx. 14 pages
In the essay below, Griffith examines the oppositions between economic and spiritual concerns and between the individual and the community in Bradford's History, characterizing the work as a “mercantile epic” in which the tragic conflicts are presented in economic and commerical terms.
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