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
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
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).