Sarah Vowell's 'The Wordy Shipmates'

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The idea of the United States having Puritan origins is still alive today. In Sarah Vowell’s, The Wordy Shipmates, the topic of how a nation affiliates itself with Puritan perspectives is introduced. She encourages one to look beyond the surface information of the first English settlers’ motives in the 1600s, and to investigate what Puritan views truly are. She mentions the Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony, John Winthrop, expressing his freedom to enforce his religious views on to a whole colony of people. The superiors of this religious group decided in the colonies what was appropriate for the society they are creating. She utilizes key characters to compare and contrast the different types of a “puritan” citizen. Furthermore, she allows…show more content…
As students, one usually sees a positive view on what life was like back then. Usually, one fails to realize that perhaps these pilgrims, or puritans who sailed across the Atlantic, were more complex than the simpleton title the standard textbooks give them. Thus, one is able to realize that there are perspectives from both sides of the spectrum. As Vowell composes her book, she gives a witty outlook on the governing of John Winthrop in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and how his puritan ideals affected the society around them. One thing that The Wordy Shipmates does suggest to the reader is how one must not take things for face value. Vowell proves to the reader that the mindset of the first leaders of the colonies had questioning morals. Therefore, as the leaders of today look upon them with pride as they were the ones who are the fundamental base of our nation, one is able to see where the influence of these New England Puritans also created multiple flaws within the systems as the years go by. Thus, one of the most valuable lessons can be learned from this informative novel; the importance of seeing through both sides of the spectrum before coming to any sudden
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