In the American Grain - Study Guide Voyage of the Mayflower Summary & Analysis

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Summary

William Bradford’s “History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647” is the primary source the author quotes in this essay about the first Puritan voyage to the New World. The Puritans are the first group to come to America and they are the nation's primary legacy. While it is not a legacy to be proud of, their emptiness and their failure of the individual imagination allows them to survive. The author intersperses his comments with Bradford’s account of the Mayflower voyage.

Analysis

Williams continues the metaphor of the flower, although it is the lack of flowering that he describes in the Puritan soul. The “orchidean beauty of the new world” described in “The Destruction of Tenochtitlan” has become, in the Puritans, the empty seed, the “particles stripped of wealth.” Instead of the flower that is Eden-like that Columbus first observes, the Puritan soul is “a flower...

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This section contains 287 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the In the American Grain Study Guide
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