In the works of Jonathan Edwards we canidentify the binary opposition of good versus evil represented as vivid images,specially the devil: it is represented as a spider. This strategy of linkingthe evil with an animal that most people find repulsive was done in the purpose of produce an impression on people; he used metaphorsand vivid images to describe the devil with the purpose of converting people into Puritanism, as we can see in this fragment ofSinners in the hands of an angry God:”That world of misery, that lake of burning brimstone, is extended abroad underyou”. Consequently, the good was represented in God, and in the fact thateveryone was a sinner until they were converted and devoted to him, before itwas too late, as it is shown in this other fragment: “if God should let you go,you …
would have no more influence to uphold you and keep you out of hell, thana spider’s web would have to stop a falling rock”. Benjamin Franklin’s perspective of good and badwas more practical and experimental. In fact, as a writer, scientist andinventor, it is not unexpected that he used himself as the experimental subjectof his work, to be turned into a good person. His ideal was that a good personhad to avoid errata, so he started anarduous experiment to arrive to moral perfection himself, like he writes in TheAutobiography: “I whish’d to live without committing any fault at any time;I would conquer all that either natural inclination, custom, or company mightlead me into”. The wrong or errata isthe devil in human’s behaviour that he wants to avoid with thirteen moral virtues.It all started with Temperancebecause, as he writes in his work, “it tends to procure that coolness andclearness of the head, which is so necessary where constant vigilance was to bekept up, and guard and maintained against .
.. the force of perpetualtemptations”. He was also a Puritan and his last step to the good was Humility and, with it, the imitation ofJesus and Socrates. In Phillis Wheatley’s work, evil is representedas the human behaviour as well, but in racism in concrete. She was a blackwomen and she defends her tone of skin from any connection with the devil,affirming that the people that makes this connection and, in consequence, havea racist vision, are the ones with the devil inside, like she writes in herpoem To the University of Cambridge, inNew England: “What matchless mercy in the Son of God! / Whenthe whole human race by sin has fall’n”Similarly to Benjamin Franklin, for her thegood was God, and she was determined to relate her colour of skin with apositive biblical reference.
This is why she identified her skin’s colour withMose’s Ethiopian wife Zipporah and with other biblical references, as she doesin On Being Brought from Africa toAmerica: “Remember, Christians,Negroes, black as Cain, / May berefin’d, and join th’ angelic train”.