Comparing Dark Romanticism And Young Goodman Brown Vs. Young Goodman Brown
731 Words3 Pages
February 14, 2014
“Young Goodman Brown” vs. “The Minister’s Black Veil”
During the early to mid-nineteenth century, the romantic movement, an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement, emerged as a reaction to the Age of Reason, or Enlightenment era. This movement turned the emphasis from science, facts, and logic; instead it emphasized emotions, the individual, and imagination. Some literature from the period fell under a sub-category of Romanticism, called dark Romanticism, which centered around the occult. “The Minister’s Black Veil” and “Young Goodman Brown” are both short dark Romantic stories written by dark Romantic, Nathaniel Hawthorne, that explore secret sins and corruption in the Puritan society. “The Minister’s Black Veil” revolves around Mr. Hooper, a Reverend in the town of Milford who puts on a black veil in order to remind the townspeople of their own secret sins. “Young Goodman Brown” follows Goodman Brown through his journey of losing his faith. One night, he leaves his wife, Faith, behind and goes into the woods to meet with the devil, and finds that many others from his community, including his wife, are at this same meeting. Although these two stories compare in their display of symbolism of colors, they differ in their Romantic characteristics, with “Young Goodman Brown” being more reminiscent of the typical dark Romantic story.
In both stories, Hawthorne uses colors as symbols. In “Young Goodman Brown,” Faith’s pink ribbons are used as a symbol to display innocence, faith, and trust. As Goodman Brown realizes that his wife Faith is consorting with the devil, “something fluttered lightly down through the air and caught on the branch of a tree. The young man seized it, and beheld ...
... middle of paper ...
...tic stories. Conversely, “The Minister’s Black Veil” has a much more realistic and rational plot. However, it features a static, or unchanging, protagonist similar to other Romantic literature. At the beginning of the story, Reverend Hooper puts on the black veil, and at the end, he is at his deathbed and is asked to take the veil off. To this, he replies, “Never! On earth, never,” (2) reflecting his unchanged opinions and motives from the beginning of the story. “Young Goodman Brown,” contrastingly, features a protagonist that is vastly changed by the end of the story; he goes from faithful and loving to suspicious, fearful, and bitter. Typical dark Romantic literature contains vivid descriptions of morbid events
In summary, “Young Goodman Brown” and “The Minister’s Black Veil,” both written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, although similar in displaying colors as symbols,