Type: Literary Analysis
Pages: 3 | Words: 892
Reading Time: 4 Minutes

The history of Plymouth Colony is wide and treacherous. It is the history that defines the colonial America, which has been slow and steadily grown into a less spectacular approach. The history of the people of America could be traced back to their experience throughout the journey to America. The modern American history can be traced back to Britain, where their life is said to have evolved in17th century after crossing over to Holland. They were defined by the religious beliefs that informed their activities such as being separatists, thus leading to them being harassed by state authorities (Demos, p.3). The book by Demos John, A little commonwealth: family life in Plymouth Colony is based on the history of American people, the Plymouth Colony, where they (colonized) had been shaped by the environment setting where they settled, family relationships, and various social aspects of social circle. The author uses a factious assumption of the Puritan life, with the intention of creating a “city on a hill”, which set Plymouth as a different as an example of the rest of the world to emulate. His emphasis on hardworking culture of the Pilgrim people is what has shaped America today- that which has made the legendary America look like the model for the rest of the world. In his analysis, culture of the people of Plymouth has created a lot of historical background for the people of America. He sets out a family life pilgrim household in the 17th century. The author has used various materials to justify his analysis, such as William Bradford’s Of Plymouth Plantation, George D. Langdon, Conn’s Pilgrim Colony: A History of New Plymouth among many other historical authors who have made a mark in the compilation of American history. This paper will analyze the Pilgrim family life through the themes of work, home and family relationships; Plymouth material setting; and the 17C life cycle.

Work, home and family relationships

Demos has used his literary skills to illustrate elaborately the family life of the Pilgrims in a more advanced approach, focusing on how these people’s lives were connected with work culture, family relationships, and management of homes. While some past authors have alleged that women were generally created weaker sex, and they would be naturally subjected to roles confined in homes. He dismisses this notion as a “Mythic national Identity” (Demos, p xi.). In an uncharacteristic manner, he set out a day to day life of family as the basis to defend this belief, thus making his work more authentic. For instance, he dismisses the issue that female were created to be submissive, that has been highlighted by the oldest books like the bible (Demos, p.82).

As illustrated by many other writers of history, there has been a focused approach to the management of our lifestyle, which basically affects the overall life of the people in the society. In fact, the communities around the world would prefer belief in myth, which according to the author, is the source of confusion and death of past believes among our younger generation. The societal changes are not fully effective, especially due to the fact that we mostly believe in our past. The problem is how we tend to confuse myths and reality of life, with the latter being the casualty of this confusion.


The author has highlighted the reality of what life entailed in the 17th Century, with specific analysis on the Plymouths family setting in the midst of the colonized land being the main focus. In the theme of the religion and social life, Demo illustrates that the Pilgrims were guided by Godly virtues that became part of their life in the Old Colony of Plymouth. It is the Godly and ethical life that guided the Pilgrims in their day to day operations, which eventually became a pillar for their life cycle and management of their lifestyle. In fact, Demos sets a clear explanation where Pilgrim’s everyday life was set rolling by ethical behaviors, supported by religious belief of Christianity. When they changed from the Old World Habitat, the people acknowledged the value of God in their life, pointing out that it was a tricky affair to manage the life of the people who did not belief in God. His fact is based on the belief that the people of Plymouth were not actually homogenous as people had always assumed, but were a group of strangers, who did not have unifying religious beliefs to guide the day to day operations (Demos, p.6). The author demonstrates the virtual equivalence of the two sexes, male and female. Although the author’s intention is not to dismiss the Pilgrim’s life, the most important aspect of his argument is based on the analysis of the present lifestyle, as compared to the past inconsistencies in the lifestyle of the people in relation to myth and reality of the people in all aspects of life.

The analysis indicates that the concept of gender equality is illustrated by the myth and reality of the people, which has no relationship with the virtuous ability of the Puritan community in the 17thC. With this kind of analysis, it is possible to state that Demos has opened a new chapter of understanding the Pilgrim lifestyle. According to Demos, the Puritan society is identical with divorce, violence, and adultery-vices that have characterized their lifestyles and historical backgrounds (Demos, P.82-87).

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