Herman Melville in “Hawthorne and His Mosses” (The Literary World August 17, 24, 1850), comments on the deep allegory found within Nathaniel Hawthorne’s tale, “Young Goodman Brown.”
"Young Goodman Brown"? You would of course suppose that it was a simple little tale, intended as a supplement to "Goody Two Shoes." Whereas, it is deep as Dante; nor can you finish it, without addressing the author in his own words--"It is yours to penetrate, in every bosom, the deep mystery of sin." And with Young Goodman, too, in allegorical pursuit of his Puritan wife, you cry out in your anguish. . . .
The use of allegory in his short stories is characteristic of Nathaniel Hawthorne, and the literary critics comment on this fact repeatedly. Peter Conn in “Finding a Voice in an New Nation” explains Hawthorne’s style of allegorizing and how it creates unwanted tensions for the reader:
He once planned to call a group of his stories “Allegories of the Heart,” and in that unused title he summed up much of his method and his subject. His chosen terrain lay between the realms of theology and psychology, and allegory provided the means of his explorations. . . . Where traditional allegory was secured in certitude, however, Hawthorne’s allegorical proceedings yield only restlessness and doubt. The stable system of correspondences that tied allegory’s images and ideas together was lodged squarely upon the religious orthodoxy that Hawthorne rejected. In his belated version of the sacramental world, the links binding visible to spirit have become vexed and problematic. . . . This doubleness generates tensions that can be felt throughout Hawthorne’s work . . .(83-84).
Yvor Winters in “Maule’s C...
... middle of paper ...
...iffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1966.
Leavis, Q.D. “Hawthorne as Poet.” In Hawthorne – A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by A.N. Kaul. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1966.
Lewis, R. W. B. “The Return into Time: Hawthorne.” In Hawthorne – A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by A.N. Kaul. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1966.
Melville, Herman. “Hawthorne and His Mosses,” The Literary World August 17, 24, 1850. no pag. Web 13 April 2015
Williams, Stanley T. “Hawthorne’s Puritan Mind.” In Readings on Nathaniel Hawthorne, edited by Clarice Swisher. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 1996.
Winters, Yvor. “Maule’s Curse, or Hawthorne and the Problem of Allegory.” In Hawthorne – A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by A.N. Kaul. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1966.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Nathanial Hawthorne’s short story “Young Goodman Brown” presents, through the use of clear symbolism and allegory, a narrative on the evil nature of mankind, particularly in a society where the motivation to be morally upstanding is entirely extrinsic. Throughout the text there are numerous references to symbolism, as well as imagery and symbolism that present themselves in the context of the story. There are also Formalist criticism focus on the presentation of a story as a unique unit, existing outside of any influence from outside society, culture, or time.... [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown]
775 words (2.2 pages)
- In Nathaniel Hawthorne short story “Young Goodman Brown,” he takes us on a journey of the human heart, in which he would later coin the phrase that “there is a fund of evil in every human heart”. Though the story is filled with dark gloomy imagery, Hawthorne was able to keep us wanting to know more base on the fact its Salem village. With the uses of symbolism, the author incorporate nature such as the “deep forest”, and “Faith” the newly wife of young Goodman brown working hand in hand to illustrate the purpose of the story.... [tags: Young Goodman Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne]
1024 words (2.9 pages)
- Breanna Duarte Mrs. Stanford DE English Comp 20 March 2015 Light and Dark "Young Goodman Brown", is one of Nathaniel Hawthorne 's greatest literary works. A story of temptation and faith, overflowing with hidden meaning and symbolism. Hawthorne shows faith as a great asset but, when that faith is jeopardized, one can become doubtful and cynical towards the world. In the story, Young Goodman Brown falls prey darkness and sin, despite seeing the light of heaven. He becomes a person who does not trust his own faith and dies corrupted by evil.... [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown]
927 words (2.6 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Young Goodman Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne]
1738 words (5 pages)
- 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]
1301 words (3.7 pages)
- Symbolism in “Young Goodman Brown” is not discrete. This makes analysis of this piece seemingly simple. We can observe the various roles that Goodman’s wife, Faith, holds in the story. In “Young Goodman Brown” Faith holds the major roles of purity and protection as Goodman embarks on his journey through the wilderness. Faith is representative of Goodman’s innocence and purity. She is the only pure-hearted character leading up to the ritual in the woods. As Goodman ventures farther and farther into the woods, Faith continues to be more and more endangered.... [tags: Young Goodman Brown, Goodman, Nathaniel Hawthorne]
1284 words (3.7 pages)
- The use of symbols in today’s culture has become so widespread that they often go unrecognized as symbols. Things like the American flag are a great example of a symbol, but they are seen so often that they become overlooked. Symbols are also incredibly common in literature, and authors love to use them to add a second meaning to many things in their stories. Nathaniel Hawthorne was a huge fan of symbols, and made that apparent in his short story Young Goodman Brown. The story is flush with symbols, and they can be easily grouped into three categories.... [tags: Young Goodman Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne]
1671 words (4.8 pages)
- 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]
996 words (2.8 pages)
- Hawthorne’s Ancestral Influence The story, “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, appears, on the surface, to be a story about a man who struggles inside himself between good and evil. However, as one analyzes the story deeper, a reader will find it is indeed ambiguous. There have been many interpretations all of which find something different hidden among the passages. Upon deeper analysis, I have discovered many similarities as well as differences with real historical events. Historical events are drawn from Hawthorne’s own Hathorne ancestors and their Puritan roots, The Salem Witch trials, and other evil deeds that are interwoven into the story.... [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown, Salem]
1097 words (3.1 pages)
- Symbolizing Hawthorne’s View of Human Nature Salem, Massachusetts in 1835 was home to a community of Puritans, a sect of Calvinists. This was during the American Romanticism period when human nature was to be embraced as a good, natural thing like a sign from God. Nathaniel Hawthorne went against this, saying that humans are not perfect, so their nature should not be embraced. He wrote Young Goodman Brown in 1835. Similar to his other works, this short story has themes of sin, hypocrisy, and flawed humanity.... [tags: Young Goodman Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Allegory]
1339 words (3.8 pages)