Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses

Eutopic Visions of America in the Puritan Colonial Identity

Mercedes Peñalba García



This paper is an attempt to explore the Puritan exegetical myth of 'an errand into the wilderness,' which took root in New England, and its spread across the Western territories and the South after a process of secularization. The myth has been approached by way of the colonial puritan jeremiad in order to show how the Puritan eschatological visions have exercised so creative an influence in shaping the images of America and the basic ideals of the 'American Dream.' After close scrutiny of the concepts of millennium and utopia -versions of Edenic fantasies of an earthly and heavenly paradise- the essay stresses the importance of chiliasm and eutopia (its secular term) in early Puritan literature. It is suggested that the Puritan legacy still persists not in theology but in the realm of the imagination.


Literatura norteamericana; Imagen de América; Puritanos; Colonos; Nueva Inglaterra; Mitos; Utopía


Copyright (c) 1989 Mercedes Peñalba García

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