Michael Wigglesworth and his poem “The Day of Doom” was an extremely popular poem in 1662. This poem reflected the puritan belief of life, death, and punishment. The poem is based on the religious theology in which God is responsible for both good and bad things that happen in the universe. However, God punishes the bad people, like he punished Adam in the Garden of Eden. They believe that all men are inherently evil and must be punished. God then selects only a few men who can avoid this torture and have salvation.
Wigglesworth begins with an image of a sleepy town. As the people sleep a trumpet is blown and the mortals are chased by angels. This angels choose who will be saved and will not be saved. The people who are to damned are brought before god. Each individual is allowed to plead their case. Despite their efforts, all of them are taken to hell.
The lucky people who were picked to salvation go on to heaven. This paralleled the current religion belief of the time. The poem is written like religious ballad with meter like a nursery rhyme.
The text is full of scripture references that are incorporated into the narrative tale Certainly, Wigglesworth believed in the puritan religion. He wrote this poem to enforce and demonstrate what happens when the world ends and judgment day is upon the human race. He wrote to this poem to entertain, through fear, the puritans.
Religion, specifically punishment, is a way in which society can be controlled. Wigglesworth and his poetry are representative of the era in which he wrote. This was conservative society and their lives revolved around religion.