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Young Goodman Brown
Transcript of Young Goodman Brown
’Well, she's a blessed angel on earth; and after this one night I'll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven.’" With this excellent resolve for the future, Goodman Brown felt himself justified in making more haste on his present evil purpose.
– Goodman Brown justifies his decision to walk down an unrighteous path by concluding that he can ride on the coattails of his wife’s goodness and purity. This is ironic knowing that his wife is actually a new convert of the dark race and far from what Goodman Brown has perceived her to be.
’My Faith is gone!’" cried he, after one stupefied moment. "’There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name. Come, devil; for to thee is this world given.’
- Faith has a double meaning in this quote as Goodman Brown’s wife, Faith, has been converted and is gone to evil and Goodman Brown’s own faith is gone as he realizes that everything he believed to be good was evil.
And when he had lived long, and was borne to his grave a hoary corpse, followed by Faith, an aged woman, and children and grandchildren, a goodly procession, besides neighbors not a few, they carved no hopeful verse upon his tombstone, for his dying hour was gloom
- Goodman Brown had been consumed by the loss of his faith and his trust in everyone around him. Even though what he witnessed could’ve just been a dream, he never overcame this loss and died a gloomy death.
Nathaniel Hawthorne (July 4, 1804 – May 19, 1864).
• Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts to a family with a long New England history.
• The original name of the family was Hathorne, he added a 'w' to distinguish himself from his family history. This included John Hathorne, a prominent judge in the Salem witch trials of 1692-1693.
• The Hathorne family had a heritage of strict Puritanism.
• After graduating college, Hawthorne spent time at his mother's home in Salem, spending much of it reading and writing. His studies at Salem’s local library led him to his ancestral roots and he read much about his Puritan past, reading works by influential puritan and early American writers such as William Bradford, John Winthrop and Cotton Mather.
• All of the above attribute to his incorporation of Salem/Puritan New England in many of his works, criticism of Puritanism and the religious of the time period, and the themes of sin, legalism, and guilt.
• Writer of the Romantic and Transcendental Era.
o Incorporated transcendental doctrines of self-reliance, compensation, understanding, and reasoning.
o Incorporated the romantic doctrine that we all possess an innate flaw or darkness. Explored the effects of guilt, sin, and misery on the human spirit
Précis of “Young Goodman Brown”
• Young Goodman Brown is a puritan man living in Salem and husband to Faith, his wife. He must go out on journey one night for an “evil purpose.” He makes his way into the forest and eventually runs into the devil who resembled an older version of Goodman Brown and carried a black staff that looked like a snake. Goodman Brown had already planned on meeting him to keep the promise he had made of going to the satanic ceremony taking place that night. The devil guides Goodman Brown as they continue their journey, but Goodman Brown resists as he begins to think of the shame he would bring to his family who had all been devout puritans. The devil combats the resistance by revealing the evil that his family and other dignitaries had done. The journey continues and they run into “righteous” townsfolk including the minister, the deacon, and an older puritan woman. Goodman is shocked to find out that they were evil as well and decides to stop his journey. The devil allows it, but leaves his staff in case Goodman changes his mind. Then, Goodman hears the voice of his wife, Faith, coming from the ceremony. He goes to the ceremony and, despite his efforts to stop her, Faith becomes a new convert of this “dark race.” He then wakes up alone in the forest and proceeds to the village. He is now unable to look at those who he thought were respectable people, even his wife. He lives out the rest of his life in sadness, distrust, and misery.
• Goodman Brown- Round, Dynamic, Protagonist. Goodman Brown is a young puritan man, newlywed, and a good and faithful. Goes on journey to fulfill an evil promise with the devil. Ends up losing his faith and trust in everyone. Lives the end of his life in misery.
• Faith- Round, Dynamic. Young puritan woman. Pure-hearted and a very godly and faithful person. Although she seems to be the least likely to convert she ends up turning evil. This change in Faith is what really changes Goodman and causes him to lose his own faith and trust.
• The Second Traveler (The Devil)- Flat, Static, Antagonist, Double of Goodman Brown. Resembles an Old Goodman Brown. Carries a staff that looks like a great black snake. Leads Goodman Brown and tries to deceive him into converting.
Young Goodman Brown
• Scarlet Letter (1850)- Set in 17th century Puritan Boston. Throughout the novel, Hawthorne touches on the themes of legalism, sin, and guilt.
• "The Minister's Black Veil" (1837) - Set in 18th century town in Puritan New England, . The theme is also one of sin, hypocrisy, and guilt.
• “Roger Malvin’s Burial” (1846) - The theme of this story continues with the other stories’ themes of sin and guilt.
• The Loss of Innocence (implied)
• The Innate Evil of Man (implied)
• The Hypocrisy of Puritanism (implied)
By: Nathaniel Hawthorne
Point of View
Dream vs. Reality
Village of Salem and woods near Salem.
Late 17th century, around the time of the Salem Witch Trials
Village can represent the outward appearance of goodness while the woods represent the true inner evil of the society.
• Narrator is the author of the story. (Reliable)
• 3rd Person Limited, Subjective
-Goodman Brown is with his wife Faith.
-Faith doesn’t want him to leave on his journey. Goodman tells her that he needs to go but convinces her that everything will be fine.
-She trusts that he will be alright and Goodman Brown proceeds onto his journey.
-Goodman begins his travel through the forest and meets the second traveler.
-The second traveler begins leading Goodman Brown and counters any of Goodman Brown’s resistance and efforts to turn back.
-Goodman Brown learns the truth about his forefathers’ evil and the evil of his respected townsfolk.
-Goodman Brown stops but hearing what he convinces himself to be Faith at the Satanic Ceremony, he decides to go.
-Goodman Brown’s fears are confirmed. Faith is a convert of the dark race at the ceremony. Goodman begs her to resist the wicked one.
-Goodman Brown wakes up alone in the forest and proceeds back to the village.
-Goodman Brown is changed. He can’t bear to look at or trust those of Salem who he had thought to be good and pure but who were truly evil, even his own wife. Goodman Brown spends the rest of his life in sadness, distrust, and misery up.
• Faith’s Pink Ribbons- pink is associated with purity and innocence. Faith starts the story with her ribbons on representing her innocence. When the ribbon is seen floating down from the sky it reveals that Faith had lost her innocence and purity.
• The Black Staff- the staff resembled a snake which represents deception, cunning, and temptation. It enforces the idea that the second traveler/the devil is a cunning and deceptive.
1. Where is young Goodman Brown headed after sunset?
2. What convinces Brown that his wife is at the ceremony?
3. How does this event--real or imagined--affect Brown's interactions with his community?
4. How is Brown's wife an allegorical figure given her name?
5. What is one element of HAwthorne's background that effected the story.
• The woods- represents the true evil found behind the disguise of goodness of the village.
• Faith- although she is a character she also doubles as a symbol for faith. An example of this is shown through Goodman Brown when he cries out that he lost his Faith when he lost both Faith and his actual faith.
-One of the biggest questions left to answer when finishing the story is whether or not the event surrounding the ceremony was just a dream of Goodman Brown’s or if it really happened.
-What do you think???
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. "Roger Malvin's Burial." The Literature Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2014. <http://www.online-literature.com/hawthorne/153/>.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. "The Minister’s Black Veil.” The Literature Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2014. <http://www.online-literature.com/hawthorne/146/>.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. "Young Goodman Brown (by Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1835)." Eldritch Press. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Dec. 2014. <http://www.eldritchpress.org/nh/ygb.html>.
The European Graduate School. "Nathaniel Hawthorne - American Writer - Biography." The European Graduate School - Graduate & Postgraduate Studies Program. EGS, n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2014. <http://www.egs.edu/library/nathaniel-hawthorne/biography/>.
Reuben, Paul P. "Chapter 3: Nineteenth Century to 1865 - Nathaniel Hawthorne." PAL: Perspectives in American Literature- A Research and Reference Guide. N.p., 21 June 2014. Web. 14 Dec. 2014 http://web.csustan.edu/english/reuben/pal/chap3/hawthorne.html