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The Innovators of American Literature From their critical assessments on how to improve themselves and to the American public that they influenced by their writings Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin illustrate American themes in their personal narratives that quintessentially make part of American Literature Although they lived in different times during the early development of the United States of America and wrote for different purposes they share common themes Their influence by their environment individualism proposals for a better society and events that affected their society generate from their writings By analyzing Jonathan Edwards Personal Narrative Resolutions Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God and selections from Benjamin Franklins The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin found in The Heath Anthology of American Literature Third Edition Volume One edited by Paul Lauter the fundamental themes in American literature are evident and their individual ideas are distinctive These personal narratives reveal the influences of their environment that gave them epiphanies to their closer perfection of themselves Jonathan Edwards Personal Narrative shows his journey towards a closer relationship to God His family was followers of the Congregationalist Church and from early childhood he followed a Christian life Lauter 569 In the beginning of his autobiography Personal Narrative he says I had a variety of concerns and exercise about my soul from my childhood but had two more remarkable seasons of Mckenize 2 awakening before I met with that change by which I was brought to those new dispositions and that new sense of things that I have had Lauter 581 Edwards endures a rite of passage which brings him closer to God These epiphanies assisted on his assessment of becoming a better man in the eyes of God and minister to his community Benjamin Franklin did not hold his family beliefs of Christianity but from his early environment he drew his relationship to God as a Deist Franklin believed there is a Supreme Being and it
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