Theme Of Feminism In Young Goodman Brown By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Throughout literary history, the depiction of women has taken on various forms. One may attempt to assign feminism to a distinct category. However, it can be analyzed that even within one author’s collection of writings, contradictions are present. Within many of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s works women are portrayed as vulnerable, weak and submissive, this image of women was accepted by many during Hawthorne’s time. Conversely, this image of vile and submissive behavior was disrupted when Hawthorne came out with Scarlet Letter, which depicted women as the heroine rather than the damsel in distress. Feminism was not particularly favored during the Puritan period, causing for a stereotypical view of women to be valueless, therefore, disposable. The…show more content…
The reoccurring theme of evil is directly related to the behavior of the women within the stories. On the surface society is presented as innocent bliss, what you do not know will not hurt you. Goodman Brown has decided to go on a journey through the forest. Of course, a hindrance that presents itself is that of a woman’s need for man. Hawthorne portrays Faith, Young Goodman Brown’s wife, as clingy and obsessive, not wanting her husband to go, in order that she will not be left alone. Hawthorne states, “he looked back and saw the head of Faith still peeping after him, with a melancholy air.” The scene of Goodman Brown leaving depicts Faith as an innocent young girl empty without her husband. Through Goodman Brown’s journey through the forest he stumbled upon a ceremony, inference can be made that a Satanic ritual was taking place. In this moment, Goodman Brown’s view of innocence has been destroyed, seeing the evil within society. Brown tones in his anger on the behavior of the women of the village, particularly Faith and Goody Cloyse are seen for their wrongdoing, which may have been only in his dream. “Had goodman Brown fallen asleep in the forest, and only dreamed a wild dream of a witch-meeting…” this again reinstating Hawthorne’s sense of ambiguity leaving reasoning up to the
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