The previous chapters examined Jeffers' construction of the American sublime under two principal aspects: as a privileged mode of access to the divine through the experience of natural grandeur, and as Oedipal praxis. This chapter considers a third aspect of the native sublime—the idea of America as a redeemer nation destined to give light to the world. In its Puritan incarnation, it represented a great collective enterprise composed of a myriad of self-enlightened, self-motivated individuals. This conception was sublimated into but hardly effaced by the secular republic created by the founding fathers. It manifested itself in the unresolved polarities of the American experience, at once materialist and millennialist.
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