Personal Narrative Analysis

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Puritan writer, Jonathon Edwards, explores the implications of nature as a means of further establishing a relationship to the Christian faith. This representation of the natural world as a link to the divine is developed through the depiction of religious sanctuary. The concept of typology in the Puritan faith is defined as the idea of nature revealing God. While this concept is significant within Edwards’ biographical piece, entitled ‘Personal Narrative’ he creates an image of a nature that not only reveals the divine to man but that also stands in opposition to that of the urban landscape that the generations of Puritan settlers had created. Within his text, Edwards is reinforcing the structures of faith that were deemed to be acceptable…show more content…
The representation of nature as an environment in which conversation to God can occur often, the doubts in Christian faith arrived to when within a community environment, and his inability to maintain a consistent belief system are representative of a dichotomy between the natural and settled world that reveals a perceivable flaw within the consistency of Edwards’ Puritan identity as a religious figure in society. Throughout ‘Personal Narrative’, Edwards establishes a hierarchy of solitude in nature, which creates an argument about the role of community in religion as set forth by the Puritanical Christian faith. As a result, the work of Edwards is illustrative of the conflicts of faith that were prevalent within society at the time of publication and reveals an inability on the part of the author to maintain a proper relationship with his community as imposed by the Puritan…show more content…
However, it is often mentioned within the text that Edwards experiences doubt when he is within the settled landscape among the public. Edwards admits in “Personal Narrative” to have had apprehension in relation to ideas about “Christ, and the work of redemption”, exhibiting that his faith is fluid and inconsistent (400). This admission represents the act of backsliding that puritans feared was a pervasive threat that any member of their community may be drawn away from their religion and they had to be vigilant and staunch in their decisions and study of the divine in order to prevent this. As well, Edwards “made a solid dedication of” himself “to God” but argues that he must remain humble because he had often failed his “obligation” (403). This shows that despite Edwards’ position of religious leadership, he is not infallible, as the puritan religion would like him to be. As well, Edwards reveals that there were times in which he had had a more “constant sense of the absolute sovereignty of God” before, showing that over time his relationship with puritan Christianity had fallen as he moved to different cities and worked in the church

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