Original Puritan Dilemma

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The Original Puritan vision of having of doing everything as a collective effort for the eyes of England, with almost no aspect of individualism, as seen with John Winthrop, morphed into the Puritans displaying “The Other” theme through King Phillip’s war and finding an enemy and try to define themselves, away from the church, and also there is change with the Nature theme and the Salem Witch Trials which shows the Puritan Dilemma and how it secularized the second and third generation Puritans. Firstly, the original Puritan Errand had little individualism and called for a collective effort for their society to be an example for England. In John Winthrop’s, A Model of Christian Charity, he explains how the Puritans’ original goal is to be a…show more content…
While the first-generation Puritans believed this, their offspring who knew nothing of the religious hardship back home would rather have personal indulgences, which puts strain on the Errand. Adding on to that, the idea of being a collective group changed into the Puritans becoming more focused on defining themselves away from the Church as seen with King Phillip’s War. The war represents a change with the second and third generation Puritans who needed new, secular, enemies to define them as told by Marone when he says “The Puritans groped back to the tried and true-they found terrible new enemies to define them” (Marone 33). The Puritans defining themselves through fighting the Natives in King Phillip’s war, totally undermines the Puritans’ original enemy of being eternally damned. Furthermore, the Puritan Dilemma of the conflict of old vs new impacted the Puritans’ view of nature, as seen with the Salem Witch Trials and how God was punishing them for straying from the Errand. Davidson describes while the Puritans did not actually have witches haunting them, but they believed it so greatly that it became their reality, “The Salem Women had not really been tormented by witches, Hutchinson and Upham reasoned; therefore, they must have been acting voluntarily” (Boyer
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