Brown's Fall

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The setting of a work can be the most powerful literary devices an author uses in their work. Setting refers to a location or time in which a work is set. Setting has a wide range of possibilities. The setting of a work may be as simple as a single room or may be as complex as the author or character's psychological state of mind. Authors can use setting to enhance the theme of their works. One author in particular is Nathaniel Hawthorne. Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote “Young Goodman Brown” in 1835. His time period influenced the theme of his work. The theme Hawthorne chose was the weakness of public morality. In “Young Goodman Brown” Hawthorne shows this theme through the perspective of a Puritan man, Goodman Brown. In the story Hawthorne shows that Goodman Brown’s religious convictions are rooted in his belief that those around him are also religious. This kind of faith, which depends so much on other people’s views, is easily weakened. Hawthorne suggests that faith is weak when people copy the beliefs of other people around them. Hawthorne shows this in the story with the fall of Goodman Brown, who at the beginning was pure and pious. To further illustrate this, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses the setting of his time period and that of his predecessors to enhance the theme of the weakness of public morality in his work “Young Goodman Brown”.

Nathaniel Hawthorne used his own personal setting in life to help write his short stories. Most of Hawthorne's stories are dark and gloomy, as was the history of his family. The Hawthorne family had deep roots in New England. Hawthorne had an imaginative link to the paternal side of his family. This link to his father's family inspired most of Nathaniel’s literary work. Nathaniel’s great-great-grand...

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Liebman, Sheldon W. "The Reader in 'Young Goodman Brown'."The Nathaniel Hawthorne Journal 1975. Ed. C. E. Frazer Clark, Jr. Microcard Editions Books, 1975. 156-169. Rpt. In Short Story Criticism. Ed. Anna J. Sheets. Vol. 29. Detroit: Gale Research, 1998.Literature Resource Center. Web. 29 Nov. 2011.

Walsh, Thomas F., Jr. "The Bedeviling of Young Goodman Brown."Modern Language Quarterly 19.4 (Dec. 1958): 331-336. Rpt. inShort Story Criticism. Ed. Anna J. Sheets. Vol. 29. Detroit: Gale Research, 1998. Literature Resource Center. Web. 29 Nov. 2011.

Wilson, George. ""Young Goodman Brown""Literature and Its Times. By Joyce Moss. Vol. 1. Gale Cengage, 1997. 420-26. Print.

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