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Young Goodman Brown

Uploaded by thehighlife13 on Jan 05, 2005

Young Goodman Brown

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown is an excellent example of the struggle with Puritanism during his time. This was a common theme among many great authors of his time and no better example is illustrated than here. The story takes place primarily in the forest with a very foreboding atmosphere creeping through the entire time.

The story starts off with Young Goodman Brown on the cusp of leaving his wife for a journey which she begs him not to do. He does so anyway. On his venture, he meets the devil. The devil presents himself to Young Goodman Brown in an image that he is very familiar with: the image of his grandfather. Though he is uneasy about venturing deep into the forest with the devil, he does so. While there he overhears some of the most religious people in the town talking about attending a communion with the devil. This scene creates the overall dilemma of Young Goodman Brown. He struggles with this because the ultimate conflict now is good v. evil, devil v. religion, and Young Goodman Brown v. his own faith. His biggest problem with this is that he finds his wife’s ribbon at the scene, showing him that taking this journey has caused him to drive his own wife to Satan.

Satan ultimately wins in this battle because he presents himself in such a familiar manner to Young Goodman Brown. This was intended to be a wake-up call to Puritans to show how easy it is to familiarize yourself with Satan when he presents himself in such a manner. Young Goodman Brown’s decision is scorned ultimately though not completely explained to be unjust. It is never implied that he made the WRONG decision but simply that he made a BAD one. These are two completely different ideas. It is clear to see that Hawthorne struggles himself with an issue of virtue and honor and won’t pretend to be perfect. This essay may, actually be somewhat of a reflection into his own life and struggles.

One analysis that I came up with, upon reading this, was that perhaps Brown is dreaming. True or false, this detail wouldn’t change the central conflict for virtue that he still must deal with his own beliefs and inner demons awake or asleep. Freud believed that dreams were the most powerful indicators. That being said, if this is a dream,...

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Uploaded by:   thehighlife13

Date:   01/05/2005

Category:   Literature

Length:   2 pages (533 words)

Views:   1735

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