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Sep 26, 2023



This essay explores the theme of American identity and cultural values as represented in two significant works, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” by Jonathan Edwards and “On Being Brought From Africa to America” by Phillis Wheatley. These readings provide distinct perspectives on how authors perceive and portray “American” culture, values, and beliefs. While both texts touch upon this theme, they do so from contrasting angles.

Jonathan Edwards’ “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”

A. Representation of American Identity – Edwards’ sermon reflects early American society’s Puritanical values, emphasizing the centrality of religious piety and moral purity to American identity. – The text conveys a sense of urgency and fear, suggesting that America is a land where divine wrath awaits sinners, thus shaping the perception of a morally strict society.

B. Perception of American Values – Edwards portrays America as a place where righteousness is rewarded, reinforcing the belief that adherence to religious values is integral to the American experience. – The text underscores the consequences of moral failings, aligning with a vision of America as a nation with a strong moral compass.

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