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Christianity and Slavery In Early American Literature

Christianity and Slavery In Early American Literature Christianity and Slavery In Early American Literature In the 18th -19th centuries religion had a great influence on culture and literature . The American society created a unique culture influenced by its norms and traditions , historical and political development ,Christianity and slavery . Dogmas and norms of the society were embodied in the religious tradition and transferred into literature . Religion and slavery did not independently becoming an integral part of culture .Thesis Early American Literature reflects cultural norms and tradition of the society and shows that blacks and whites were united by virtues and religious dogmas of Christianity .Early American Literature show that with the help of literature , people embodies their beliefs and hopes , ideas and ideals . Christianity and church was a strong force which dictated social norms and social order .For instance , the poetry by Phillis Wheatley vividly depicts the importance of morality and religion for both whites and blacks . In the poem “On Virtue ‘ he writes : “ Virtue , thro ‘ my youthful years / O leave me not to the false joys of time / But guide my steps to endless life and bliss (Wheatley , 1996 . In other poems he depicts characters as devoted parishioners who follow all values and commandments . Phillis Wheatley can be considered as “a moral poet ‘ of his time unveiling social contradictions and moral values of slaves and their hopes . He describes the roles of God and goodness in life of slaves . In ISAIAH Wheatley describes : “For man the wrath of an immortal God “To execute th ‘ Eternal ‘s dread command “My soul I sacrific ‘d with willing hand (Wheatley , 1996 . These examples show that religion and Christianity determines lives of slaves in spite of the fact that church and Christianity were used to defense and legitimatize the institution of slavery .Many characters in his poems wonder why anyone would understand a difference between slaves and masters , blacks and whites . Morality is depicted through religious ritual and values followed by slaves . It is not surprising that religious dogmas became the code of behavior for many women who needed strong arguments to prove their decisions . Also ,the Christianity was used to maintain defense of domesticity and the role of women as mother and wives only . In “To his Honour the Lieutenant-Governor , on the Death of his Lady ‘ Wheatley writes :“ALL-Conquering Death ! by thy resistless pow ‘r /Hope ‘s tow ‘ring plumage falls to rise no more /Of scenes terrestrial how the glories fly / Forget their splendors , and submit to die (Wheatley , 1996 .This theme underlines the fact that all people are mortal . Even trying to challenge destiny , people cannot change ordered hierarchy of the world , and is punished with an eternal hell .In the speech , Frederick Douglass addresses a very important problem of racial inequality in America and its impact on the society . In his speech “the Fourth of July , Frederick Douglass depicts social and political situation and ridicules low morals and false values existing in the society . As the most important he…

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