What were the different types of literature produced in America during the colonial period. The mass of colonial writing may be divided under several heads . The first was literature of exploration and adventures .Since exploration was a phase of the Renaissance, so writers described their adventures and disasters in a colorful language . they also describe the beauty of the strange land and the way of the Indians. A very popular type of literature namely: Travel Literature as we can see in the works of Mark Twain.
Literature of propaganda: as we can see in Jhon Smith’s “ Description of New England “ and “Map of Virgina”
- Histories and Narrative of Settlements as presented in the works of William Bradford’s “Of Plimmoth Plantation “ such works arte interesting because they are written to embody Puritan’s view of history.
-Sermons were the most important and by the most voluminous of all types of literature produced during the colonial period . The puritan way of life and the assumption that literature should concern itself primary with spiritual values , caused the sermons to the most highly developed and the most popular of all literary forms. The sermons were written in a plain style From Thomas Shepand to Jonathan Edwards . We have a number of theologians well- versed in the art of pulpit oratory.
- Theological and Polemical writing claimed a prominent place in the literary production of this period. In John cotton’s “ The Way Of the Churches of Christ in N. England” and in Thomas Hooker’s “ A survey of the Theory of Church Discipline”. Moreover Jonathon Edwards And Cotton Mather were among the Theologians of the period.
- An amazing number of colonists kept diariesor wrote autobiographies. This is not surprising when we bear in the mind of Puritan’s conviction that all religious progress canters on the individual . Every Puritan, therefore was promoted to make records of his spiritual development .For example, the travel journal of Mrs.Sarah Kembele Knight are among the treasured diaries of this period. The diaries give us a clear picture of the 17th and 18th American life. Sewall and Samuel Pepys have been compared to the great English diarist.
Finally , the colonial literature that we have , was the handmaid to religion during this period . However, the most important poets of the period were Anne Bradstreet, Michael Wiggles worth, and Edward Taylor. Theses puritan poets wielded poetry to exalt and glorify the Almighty. Hence they are of a deeply religion and spiritual nature. Secularization of poetry came only in the late 18th and 19thcentury