Originated by Jacques Derrida, deconstruction analyzes the relationship between text and meaning. This thesis applies Derrida’s theory of deconstruction to three early American Puritan figures: John Winthrop, Mary Rowlandson, and Anne Bradstreet. By questioning the conceptual distinctions known as oppositions in Puritan ideology through the works of these aforementioned individuals, this thesis questions and corrupts the binaries within each text used. The emergence of new meaning through a deconstruction of Puritan ideology establishes a valid site from which to explore radical, repressed, historical, cultural, and theological narratives of religious prosperity. By enforcing narratives from Derrida’s Of Grammatology, post-structuralist ideology will presume no absolute truths within a text; therefore, ambiguity is pertinent in a deconstructive critical examination. The argument in this thesis is then—through a deconstructive critical examination of Puritan ideology, are similarities present though different mediums of linguistic discourse, and can this thesis formally decenter the transcendental signifiers present. The critical approach to deconstructing each medium of discourse analytically breaks down the systematic organization of language as a whole and overturns structuralist oppositions—as to displace the authority, and formally find new importance in a text.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
Fazzalari, Rocco S., "A Deconstruction of Puritan Ideology Through the Works of John Winthrop, Anne Bradstreet, and Mary Rowlandson" (2019). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 635.