Transcendentalism In Young Goodman Brown

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Nathaniel Hawthornes dark romantic views are expressed in many of his works. Abby Werlock wrote about how his stories oftentimes acknowledge the aptitude of mortal beings to sin. Nathaniel Hawthorne may be characterized as the opposite of a transcendentalist. He is also a Puritan, believing in mans inherent good and evil nature. Some beliefs that he may share with other “anti-transcendentalists” comprise of how, contrary to the belief of transcendentalists that man is born good, that every child is born with the infamy of the initial sin; only through experience and good deeds will he find god and the goodness of his soul. They also believe that man is one of the most eradicative forces in nature and that there are no universal truths. Through themes and symbols, Nathaniel Hawthorne is able to demonstrate his views in some of his short narratives, including Young Goodman Brown, The Birthmark, and Rappaccini’s Daughter. Young Goodman Brown is about a man who one night, leaves his wife and village to go meet a mysterious individual in the depths of the dark forest surrounding his home. It becomes clear as Brown and his enigmatic companion journey further and further, that their purpose is to take part in an immoral ritual for the mysterious man, who is in fact, the devil. As they keep going Brown discovers the unsettling truth of many of his fellow acquaintances back in the village. He attempts to turn back, thinking of his wife, whose voice he then hears somewhere in the woods. He realizes that he has lost her to the devil and decides to continue onto the meeting. As the ritual is happening, he suddenly finds himself left alone. The next day when Brown arrives back at his village, he is faced with Faith, and the doubt ...

... middle of paper ... are all very similar to one another according to Abby Werlock, in the way that they are impacted by his puritan views and have common concepts of morality, good and evil, perfection, pride guilt. All of these themes and symbols are involved in these three stories. Nathaniel Hawthorne uses these themes and symbols to represent his views in terms of dark romanticism. These three stories all have that one character that becomes the victim of another character inability to accept and understand the presence of humanity. Nathaniel Hawthorne has Puritan views, and beliefs that are almost opposite to those of a transcendentalist. Transcendentalists believe that every child is born inherently good, that everyone will go to heaven if not having sinned in their life. People like Nathaniel Hawthorne believe in just the opposite, and it spilled out into his writing.
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