By Denise Lewis Patrick
From the shorelines of Africa to the bowels of a transatlantic send to a balloting sales space in Mississippi to the jungles of Vietnam, all human connection is an issue of souls.
In this stirring number of brief tales, Denise Lewis Patrick considers the souls of black women and men throughout centuries and continents. In every one, she takes the degree in their dignity, describes their desires, and catalogs their fears.
Brutality, good looks, laughter, rage, and love all take their turns in each one tale, however the ultimate influence is of indomitable, luminous, and hooked up souls.
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Extra resources for A Matter of Souls
In any case, the Puritans perceived themselves to be in a situation of great distress, and faced with problems for which they could not conceive solutions. In Errand into the Wilderness, Miller describes the emotional climate of the decades of Rowlandson’s captivity and the Narrative’s publication. During this period, “all the jeremiads . . are castigations of the people. . They recite the long list of afflictions an angry God had rained upon them. . 2 Miller concludes that the New World Puritans felt abandoned in New England, left to shift for themselves with few resources to face the many perils before them.
To those who in New England had perfected the ideal polity and who would know how to administer it. . [N]ot only would a federated Jehovah bless the new land, but He would bring back these temporary colonials to govern England” (Miller 11). The Puritans saw themselves as working for both their God and the good of their country by developing a governmental model based on a purified Christianity that would correct past clerical mistakes and thus lead their fellows to righteousness. The Puritans needed to be right, to belong, to be part of God’s plan.
In addition to providing this boon, Rowlandson’s Narrative amalgamates these extra-Puritan (and a-Puritan) competencies and approaches into a religious, “pure,” feminine presence. The next chapter looks at this fusion, which psychologically separates Rowlandson from the Puritan community, creating her as an Other within Puritan society. At the same time, the interweaving of these factors—the fierce and untamed within the religiously feminine—operates in combination with the intense popularity of the Narrative to embed these attributes within early American literary culture and to effect transmission of Rowlandson’s perspective from literary to popular culture.