The author Sarah Vowell is a well-known social commentator. Her non-fiction book, “The Wordy Shipmates” is a careful dissection of the 17th and 18th century history of the US. The book was published in the year 2008 to a lot of acclamation and criticism alike. The book is a retrospective analysis on the Puritan colonists in Massachusetts.
The book has five major themes which form the premise upon which the book is founded. The major themes include: Vigilance, Foundry, Religion, Love and Power. The thematic trait of Religious purity is prominent and conspicuous in the book. The other four themes are noted in the book indirectly and one has to inference them from the book.
The founding fathers of Massachusetts Bay Colony were hard working individuals. They had the discipline and commitment required to build a “shining city on the hill”. Many parallels have been drawn from the founding fathers in relation to the modern politicians “When God is the landlord”¦ the price? Obedience”.
The foundation of the Massachusetts Bay colony was a milestone for the puritans. The puritans have always been painted as religious zealots who don’t have any life whatsoever. The book has painted them in a different light. Their arrival in the 17th century into US is a commemorated day. The puritans come across as dedicated and meticulous people who’ve achieved a lot “In fact, once the colonists arrive in Massachusetts they will rename their settlement Boston, in honor of Cotton’s hometown”.
The state of modern religion in the US is in a moribund state. The stark contrast between the puritans and modern Christians is clear as a crystal ball. The puritans have strict rules whereas the principles of the modern terms are fungible. The puritans’ sense of duty and accountability allows them to stay objective and pure “what Cotton is telling these about-to-be-Americans is that they are God’s chosen people”.
The love for their country is strong and deeply etched in their psyche. The puritans are depicted as passionate people who truly loved what they do. They are a clique of very dedicated people who love what they do “”¦ they are men of destiny”.
The theme of power is exemplified by personalities like John Winthrop. They are attracted to the power in a subtle way. The founding fathers believed in decentralizing the power. This helped to diffuse both responsibilities and privileges “they did not buy that land to feed their cattle”¦”.