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"Young Goodman Brown"

Analysis of "Young Goodman Brown"


on 9 October 2014

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Transcript of "Young Goodman Brown"

Salem Witch Trials of 1692:
Even though the trials were held many years before the early 1900's, they still have become a prime factor in the history of Salem, Massachusets which therefore influenced Hawthorne's work.

The Industrial Revolution:
During this time, the use of printed communication came into great use for Hawthorne. His works were soon published and advertised in newspapers.

Puritans vs. Quakers

King Philips's War
Nathaniel Hawthorne
Historical Time Period
Morseberger believes that the supernatural elements come from American history- mainly during the time of the Salem Witch Trials.

Hawthorne portrays Brown as a Puritan whose faith was not lost, but instead was too simple. Brown had known about the evils of the world, but had never experienced them.

Just as Korb had mentioned, the value of ambiguity puts a major impact on the story. Morseberger states that, "the ambiguity allows for more of a spiritual experience, rather than a literal one."

Morseberger also realizes that the "dream" can be interpreted as either fantasy or reality. After Brown's great realization of evil, he only seems to doubt everyone but himself. Salem's history shows the start of "America's paranoia in society and politics."

Plot Overview
Young Goodman Brown leaves his home and wife, Faith, who is very reluctant of him leaving

He arrives in the forrest where he meets an old weary man who is also traveling. The two of them also encounter an old woman named Goody Cloyse.

Brown has a nightmare where everyone turns into a servant of the devil

He sees the world from a different perspective
By: Zarina Mehta, Annalise Nassani, and Nile Rizvi
Young Goodman Brown
"Young Goodman Brown." Short Stories for Students. Ed. Kathleen Wilson. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 1997. 294-311. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 24 Sept. 2014.

Korb, Rena. "Rena Korb." Gale Virtual Reference Library. Gale, 2007. Web. 3 Oct. 2014.

Morsberger, Robert E. "Robert E. Morsberger." Gale Virtual Reference Library. Gale, 2007. Web. 3 Oct. 2014.

"Nathaniel Hawthorne - Biography." The European Graduate School. European Graduate School EGS, 20 Sept. 2014. Web. 24 Sept. 2014. <http://www.egs.edu/library/nathaniel-hawthorne/biography/>.

Kennedy, X. J. "Critcal Casebook." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction. 11th Ed., Interactive ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2007. 419-433. Print.

Johnson, Claudia G. "'Young Goodman Brown and Puritan Justification." Studies in Short Fiction 11.2 (Spring 1974): 200-203. Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Ed. Anna J. Sheets. Vol. 29. Detroit: Gale Research, 1998. Literature Resource Center. Web. 9 Oct. 2014.
July 4, 1804 - May 19, 1864
Grew up in Salem, MA
Great-great grandfather was a judge during the Salem Witch Trials
After marrying Sophia Peabody and having three children, his life seemed to feel brighter as these next years were his "golden years" of success.
Most famous works =
Scarlet Letter
Twice-Told Tales
Mosses from an Old Manse
The House of Seven Gables
Moby Dick
, and
The Marble Faun
Most common themes are morality, sin, and redemption which have all been caused by his past.
Most of his stories portray the genre of Gothic Fiction. In Young Goodman Brown, the use of supernatural elements play a major role in making the story more interesting.
Critical Essay #2: Robert E. Morseberger
The Newlyweds
Faith = Allegorical character who appears as both Brown's wife and religion

Pink Ribbons= Pink is stereotypical for young girls, innocent, sweet, faithful to husband

The Staff = Snakes represent evil, sly character

Hymns = Church hymns now devil hymns

The Evil Assembly = Serves as a dark parody of a typical mass at a Christian assembly

Forrest = Darkness/Fright; Where Brown's nightmares come to life; Devil's realm

Heaven = Trusts in faith by trusting in God; Heaven is God's realm where everything is happy and there are no sufferings

Stars = the whole story takes place during the night and under the stars; He had the option to "follow the stars" and choose the right path

Fire = Burning of his faith
Rena Korb has greatly admired Hawthorne's work and has related his works to other authors. She believes that he has accurately described Puritan faith and history:
Hawthorne has actually used real people in the story as "the queen of hell" and "Goody Cloyse". These people have been accused of sorcery during Salem Witch Trails
The use of historical facts of the Salem Witch Trials, allows readers to be placed into the story.

Allegorical characters:
"Goodman" Brown represents "Everyman"
"Faith" religious devotion

Supposedly, Brown's dead father calls for him to attend the dark mass, but a frail woman tells him not to. This woman may have been his mother.
We also see that Faith may or may not have a covenant with the devil as she is "afeared of herself"

She thinks that Hawthorne has definitely included his theme of loneliness.
Critical Essay #1: Rena Korb
In "reallity" is minister of church

Good friends with Brown

Ghost-like being & voice

At devils ceremony

Is one of the factors that causes Brown to lose his trust in Christian Values
Old Traveler
Devil in disguise as an old man

Carries a Snake Staff

Claims to have helped Brown's ancestors

Changes Goodman's personality, faith, and way of thinking from just one "journey"
Good vs. Evil = Brown believes everyone is supposed to be a good christian and later he questions his faith and distrusts everyone. Thought Christian ancestors were good when they did some evil acts as well.

Religion = Brown is Pro-Christian in the beginning. After his journey, he is duped into thinking that everyone is the Devil's servant.

Innocence = Brown lost his innocence becuase he personally chose to meet the Devil.

Reality vs. Dream = Dreams can impact reality and reality coexists with Evil
Young Goodman Brown:

Allegorical Character because his name "Goodman" can be juxtaposed with "Everyman" or a term used for people of a lower-middle class

Sees the good and evil sides of humanity

Personality and way of life changes

Loses his faith

Allegorical Character

Pure innocent (Pink Ribbons)

Foreshadows Brown's journey
"Young Goodman Brown" Trailer
-She felt that Goodman's journy was a mock decent of Purtian traditon. His journey starts as a usual Puritan sinner would with a hellish externalization of his own heart. He encounters a fiend but instead is a unregenerate man who does not feel the weight of his own sin but stands up to battle the devil and evil.

-Flames and forest setting an inverse heaven .Brown tries to fight the sins by telling Faith to "defy evil and look up to heaven"

-"The gathering is like the gathering of fiends in a Pandemonium around the throne of satan to discuss the fate of Adam and Eve"

-It is not until Goodman sees Faith is sinful does he change is ways.

-Puritan description of a sinners journey is "the man in the throes of a true decent must feel the he is most wretched creature on the earth and must know a mortifictation of pride in particular."

Critical Essay #3: Claudia G. Johnson
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