Analysis Of Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Young Goodman Brown Essay

Analysis Of Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Young Goodman Brown Essay

Length: 1738 words (5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

One of the most effective ways to read Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” is by using psychoanalytic criticism to approach and interpret the text. Throughout the short story, Goodman Brown is under constant pressure from the three parts of his psyche, the Id, Ego, and Superego. Young Goodman Brown’s doesn’t just take a physical journey but in fact takes a psychological journey that explores the downfall of Goodman Brown’s sanity by having a constant struggle between his id, superego and ego.
Sigmund Freud coined the terms Id, Superego and Ego in 1923 and the terms are responsible for a different aspect of a person’s psyche or mindset. “The id is the seething cauldron of basic drives in their primitive, selfish, unorganized state” (Parker 123). Id is very instinctive and is responsible for a person’s biological needs which includes sexual urges and repressions, and responds directly and immediately to instincts. “At the opposite end of the spectrum, the superego is the moralizing conscience, with its rules and sense of right and wrong” (Parker 123). Superego aims for perfection and strives to work in a socially acceptable manner that was usually taught by the parents and one’s culture. Superego usually works in direct contradiction of the id portion of the psyche. “Meanwhile, the ego is the realist organizer and planner that mediates between the id and the superego” (Parker 123). Ego is defensive, executive and the intellectual part of the human psyche. When utilizing a psychoanalytic critique of “Young Goodman Brown”, various examples of the different aspects and facets of the human psyche are readily evident. Goodman Brown is affected by each different aspect at different times in the text in a variety of situations wi...


... middle of paper ...


... of destruction via losing his Puritan belief. In psychoanalytic terms, “Young Goodman Brown” is about the defeat of the id by the ego and the superego.
In conclusion, Goodman Brown is overcome with grief at the loss of his “Faith” and the apparent defeat of his id by his ego and superego. Goodman Brown is a story about a man’s struggle to resist the evil of the Devil and his apparent break from reality at the end of the story. Ultimately, Brown’s reasonable side of his psyche or the superego and ego overcome Browns more basic, instinctive urges and he resists the witches Sabbath ritual and the Devil’s evil. Goodman Browns sanity is broken at the end of the story and the reader is made unaware if the journey through the woods, meeting the devil and trying to rescue Faith from the Witches Sabbath, was in fact a dream, a break from reality or in fact actually happened.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Analysis Of Nathaniel Hawthorne 's ' Young Goodman Brown ' Essay

- In 1835, Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote a short story called “Young Goodman Brown.” This story takes place in the woods of Salem Village, Massachusetts. The main character, Goodman Brown, walks into the forest one night and meets a number of town members participating in what seems like a witch ceremony. It changes his outlook on the village people. The entire short story takes place in one night and the morning after. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s great grandfather served as a judge on the salem witch trials in 1692 and sentenced twenty five women to death....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown]

Strong Essays
1654 words (4.7 pages)

Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Young Goodman Brown Essay

- Puritans believe that human nature is pre destined, something decided by God before birth. This viewpoint has been present since the early 1600’s but is not the only side to this coin. Romanticism beliefs are quite the opposite, evolving in the 19th Century, focusing on human emotion rather than a sacred belief. Romanticism also states that humans are inherently good, as opposed to the Puritans predestined beliefs. Nathaniel Hawthorne the author of Young Goodman Brown was born into the romantic era....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown]

Strong Essays
1301 words (3.7 pages)

Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Young Goodman Brown Essay

- 5. Nathaniel Hawthorne--"Young Goodman Brown." Discuss the story as an example of Gothic Romanticism. “Young Goodman Brown,” one of the stories in The Norton Anthology of American literature, fits into a sub-genre of American Romanticism. While similar to the fantasy and emotional side of American Romanticism it adds a dark twist to both emotion and nature, while still sticking true to the roots of a fantasy realm merging with reality. This genre is referred to as Gothic Romanticism, this story exemplifies and this with vivid descriptions of morbid, gloomy events, entangled with deep emotional and psychological torment....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown]

Strong Essays
996 words (2.8 pages)

Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Young Goodman Brown Essay

- ... The conflict that seeks a solution is Goodman Browns temptation of joining the devil or remaining pure. For this character, the journey in coming to a solution is quite difficult. His path through the woods unravels the thought of the good things back home, including his wife Fath. He would be leaving her behind. This internal mental conflict ultimately destroys Goodman Brown resulting in a whole new person. “Young Goodman Brown” setting is what causes this temptation to occur. The setting in which Goodman Brown is put into creates the terms of coming to realization of his own sinful colors and the sinful colors that the people around him show too....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown]

Strong Essays
729 words (2.1 pages)

Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Young Goodman Brown Essay

- “To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible,” was once said by the Catholic priest Thomas Aquinas. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “Young Goodman Brown,” Goodman Brown strays from his faith, resulting in a miserable life. At the beginning of the story, he rejects the wishes of his wife, aptly named Faith, to stay home with her. Instead, Goodman Brown goes on a journey with the wicked old man. The man tests Brown’s integrity and character; Brown is unable to stop himself from following the devil, as the devil gives Brown the only faith he has – to follow him....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown]

Strong Essays
1106 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on Young Goodman Brown By Nathaniel Hawthorne

- In “Young Goodman Brown” short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Goodman Brown and changes his attitude from loving to distasteful towards his wife Faith. The story begins with Goodman Brown saying goodbye to his wife, Faith, before leaving for a journey into the unknown in the dark forest. His wife advises him to wait until the morning, but Goodman Brown is certain that he needs to run this errand before the sunrise. The goodbye conversation is warm, intimate, and loving with mutual exchange of carrying words when Faith says: “’Dearest heart,’ whispered she, softly and rather sadly, when her lips were close to his ear, ‘pr 'y thee, put off your journey until sunrise, and sleep in your own bed t...   [tags: Young Goodman Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Goodman]

Strong Essays
928 words (2.7 pages)

Analysis Of Nathaniel Hawthorne 's ' Young Goodman Brown ' Essay

- ... The devil knows that Young Goodman Brown has only entered the forest because he wants to further strengthen his faith of Christianity. So as the devil is trying to persuade Goodman Brown to take a different path than what Goodman Brown was originally going to take, the devil’s path would lead to the devil 's formation of an alter. Young Goodman Brown and the devil start on the path towards the altar, but soon after they start on the path they see a figure walking on the path. A woman appears, this woman 's name was Goody Cloyse, who we find out is a witch who is on her way to the devils ceremony....   [tags: Young Goodman Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Goodman]

Strong Essays
1327 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of Nathaniel Hawthorne 's ' Young Goodman Brown '

- “Corruption of Faith” “Young Goodman Brown” written by Nathaniel Hawthorne has intrigued critics since its publication in 1846 due to the main characters being used as representation for faith and humanity. Hawthorne is an early American writer whose dark romantic stories often focused on his Puritan heritage and the downfall of man. The story itself is said to be based on and a reflection of Hawthorne’s personal belief about human nature and faith. “Young Goodman Brown” is a confirmation of such beliefs, particularly the belief that having faith is an important asset and that faith can be corrupted and when it is, it can cause one to harbor hatred towards the world....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown, Sin]

Strong Essays
1537 words (4.4 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of Nathaniel Hawthorne 's ' Young Goodman Brown '

- ... Just like the devil tempted Jesus, he did so again with Brown. Thus allowing himself to sway away from the faith he was raised with, yielding to the evils of life. He allowed for his soul to fall into temptation, once exposed to evil. A saddened and corrupt life follow for Young Goodman Brown, depicted by Bruce Magee, stating, Brown henceforth assumes that all the good he sees around him is a hypocritical cover for deviltry and turns his back on the whole community, including Faith. Cut off from his society and family, he lives a lonely existence and dies in “gloom,” estranged from his family, his community, his Faith, his God, and himself (Magee par....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown, Hell]

Strong Essays
782 words (2.2 pages)

Symbolism in Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown Essay

- Symbolism in Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown      Nathaniel Hawthorne utilizes symbolism throughout his short story Young Goodman Brown to impact and clarify the theme of good people sometimes doing bad things. Hawthorne uses a variety of light and dark imagery, names, and people to illustrate irony and different translations. Young Goodman Brown is a story about a man who comes to terms with the reality that people are imperfect and flawed and then dies a bitter death from the enlightenment of his journey through the woods....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne Young Goodman Essays]

Strong Essays
1272 words (3.6 pages)