In the American Grain - Study Guide The May-Pole at Merry Mount Summary & Analysis

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Summary

This essay is the story of Thomas Morton, a colonist at Merry Mount, close neighbor to the Puritans at Plymouth Colony. Morton sees things differently from the Puritans. He barters with the Native Americans using guns and liquor for trades. He enjoys friendly relations with them, especially the Native American women. To celebrate May Day, he erects a Maypole, brews beer, and holds a wild party. The Puritans are scandalized but also want to eliminate a trading rival who has better items to trade (guns and liquor) than they.They arrest Morton and send him back to England for trial.

Analysis

The author uses historical sources to relate Morton's story. Williams continues to examine the Puritan impulse to be ironically shrewd and intolerant at the same time. Unlike Morton, the Puritans are both “trustless of humane experience” and afraid to enjoy whatever gifts their...

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This section contains 285 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the In the American Grain Study Guide
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