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Sample Research Reports # 4
Below is just a short, 1 page excerpt from a research report we created in 1999 on a popular work of literature. Remember: We've prepared tens of thousands of reports..created by dozens of researchers & writers..each one.. is completely different!!!

Danforth’s "Errand into the Wilderness
as Jeremiad and Allegory

by K. Bernardo for The Paper Store, Inc. January 1999

    According to J.A. Cuddon, author of The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory, a jeremiad is "a tale of woe; a sustained complaint; a prolonged railing against the world, the times, the estate of man and God" (466). The term is derived from the name of the ostensible author of the Biblical book of Jeremiah, in which the prophet Jeremiah takes a long, hard look at the spiritual shortcomings of his fellow Jews, and predicts that God will wreak vengeance on them for their sinfulness and their disobedience to his commandments.

    This is very much the format of Samuel Danforth’s "Errand into the Wilderness", except, of course, Danforth is looking at the Puritan community of the American colonial period and attributing to them the same shortcomings that Jeremiah found in the Jews of his day.

    In order to understand the source of Danforth’s passionate sermon, it is important to understand the prevailing attitude toward religion amongst the early colonial settlers. In Danforth’s day, many of the settlers were first-generation immigrants from England, who felt keenly the need to establish a more direct contact with God than they had felt in the Anglican church (the national Church of England). Although England was nominally a Protestant country and the English Puritans were Protestant as well, there were many differences between their faith and the faith of, for example, Shakespeare.

    The Anglican church had been created for political reasons, not for religious ones, and the church established by the English monarchy was actually very similar to the ones they had just left. As Peter N. Carroll and David W. Noble write in The Restless Centuries, many more fundamentalist Protestants felt that Henry and Elizabeth’s reforms had not gone nearly far enough: "The Protestant dissenters objected to the ‘popish’ practices in the established church and hoped to further the reformation by eliminating such ‘impurities’. In particular, they wished to simplify the religious service by curtailing certain ceremonies, and they advocated the removal of higher church officials such as bishops and archbishops" (Carroll and Noble 30).

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