For those who have not studied the Puritans or their beliefs, Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" is not much more than a story of lost (or maybe just confused) faith. Hawthone, a man of puritan descent, had some oppositions to the ideals that Puritans followed. Some of these ideals are discussed in his "Young Goodman Brown".
The basic impression that most people have of Puritans "describes them as dour, irascible, self-righteous, hypocritical people who hated sex, joy, and life. They dressed in black, they hated nature, they burned witches, and they repressed all natural desires,". This is the view that influences most people when Puritans appear in literature. We see the stereotypical hatred of the forest (the Devil's playground), the fear of Indians (the Devil's spawn) and the extreme fear of the Devil himself run rampant in "Young Goodman Brown". Hawthorne's description of the forest is very disheartening. "He had taken a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest..." (p 375) This is a rather depressing and f...
... middle of paper ...
... not be so blindly relied upon. However, after a bit more delving, that the story speaks not only of faith and it's hazards, but of the flaws in the puritan system.
1.) Roberts, Trish. Background to the American Puritans. http://www.missouri.edu/~engpat/purs.html. (accessed 2-1-02)
2.) Hawthorne, Nathaniel. "Young Goodman Brown". printed in: A Handbook of Critical Approaches to Literature: Fourth Edition. Editors Wilfred L. Guerin, Earle Labor, Lee Morgan, Jeanne C. Reesman, John R. Willingham. Oxford University Press, Oxford. 1999.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Nathaniel Hawthorne’s allegorical story “Young Goodman Brown” is set in Salem, Massachusetts during the late sixteen hundreds in a time of religious hysteria and only a few generations after the infamous witch trials. Although "Young Goodman Brown" is a fictional tale, it is based on the cynical environment of Salem during this time period. The short story is filled with many literary elements, leading you to question what did exactly happen to the main character at the conclusion. When analyzing a story like "Young Goodman Brown", one must recognize that the story is at whole symbolic.... [tags: Young Goodman Brown Essays]
1120 words (3.2 pages)
- Loosing Faith in Young Goodman Brown Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, Young Goodman Brown is a story of sex, sin, and the Devil, all the entertaining things in life. Hawthorne uses many literary devices to impress strength in his work. Hawthorne uses these techniques to bring out the religious themes within the story. One of the main literary devices would be imagery. One of the most important images found in the story pertains to Faith and reaching heaven. Goodman Brown says, "...I‘ll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven."(H-CAL 375).... [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]
640 words (1.8 pages)
- Loss of Faith in Young Goodman Brown In the Bible, God commands Moses to go up Mount Sinai to receive divine instruction. When he comes back, his people, the Israelites, have gone crazy. They have forgotten Moses, and forgotten their God. They form their own god, a golden calf, and build an altar. They even had a festival for the golden calf. "Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and sat down to indulge in revelry" (Exodus 32:6). Moses then went down the mountain and got so angry that he smashed the tablets with the Ten Commandments on them. The Israelites lost faith because they could not see the God they were worshipping, so they forgot him and began worshipping a fa... [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]
1062 words (3 pages)
- Young Goodman Brown: Blind Faith Is it possible for a man to be SO hypnotized by faith that he is incapable of apprehending the truth that surrounds him. Yes. The principle of faith centers heavily around the confident belief of an idea set by a person or community. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown," the faith of an individual conflicts with the faith of the community. The story takes place during the period where all devoted Puritans adopt Calvinism; Goodman Brown being one of them.... [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]
929 words (2.7 pages)
- Importance of Faith in Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne In Young Goodman Brown, the main character, Goodman Brown has a bout with his own faith. He ends up losing this battle because of the wickedness in everyone else’s hearts. He begins by wanting to be the evil one, then progresses to be the faithful one as the night in the woods goes on. His name has a lot to do with the character in the story. The “Young” in his name is to symbolize innocence, and “GOODMAN” is pretty self-explanatory.... [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]
509 words (1.5 pages)
- Faith in Young Goodman Brown For those who have not studied the Puritans or their beliefs, Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" is not much more than a story of lost (or maybe just confused) faith. Hawthone, a man of puritan descent, had some oppositions to the ideals that Puritans followed. Some of these ideals are discussed in his "Young Goodman Brown". The basic impression that most people have of Puritans "describes them as dour, irascible, self-righteous, hypocritical people who hated sex, joy, and life.... [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]
700 words (2 pages)
- Young Goodman Brown: Loss of Faith Faith can be defined, as a firm belief in something for which there is no proof. "Young Goodman Brown" is about a man who leaves his wife, Faith, at home alone for a night while he takes a walk down the road of temptation with the devil. Along the road he sees many people that he would never expect to see on this road, his wife included. He returns to his life in Salem a changed man. In "Young Goodman Brown" Nathaniel Hawthorne uses symbolism and characterization to imply that when individuals lose their faith in the goodness of mankind, they may begin to imagine that their peers have yielded to temptation.... [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]
859 words (2.5 pages)
- Symbolism,Characterization, and Faith in Young Goodman Brown Faith is believing what you can’t see or touch. Faith is knowing something especially when there is no proof to back it up. “Young Goodman Brown” is a story about a man who leaves his wife, Faith, home alone for a night while he journeys with the devil down the road of temptation. During the course of his journey, the man sees many people who seem out of place, including his wife. When he returns home to Salem, he is a changed man.... [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]
923 words (2.6 pages)
- Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote Young Goodman Brown based on morals and what Easterly in "Lachrymal Imagery in Hawthorne's 'Young Goodman Brown' " calls "spiritual maturity" (Easterly 339). In the short story, Goodman Brown, a young Puritan leaves his wife of three months to watch a witch ceremony in the forest. During this point in time, Puritans based their lives on teachings of religion and morality; therefore, witch-meetings were surely immoral, and they betrayed the commitment of God. Dwelling in the forest throughout the night, Goodman Brown experiences an event that changes his entire perspective of life.... [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]
1480 words (4.2 pages)
- Young Goodman Brown: A Test of Faith The story Young Goodman Brown is about a man and his faith in himself, his wife, and the community they reside in. Goodman Brown must venture on a journey into the local forest, refuse the temptations of the devil, and return to the village before sunrise. The time era is approximately a generation after the time of the witch trials. Goodman Brown's struggle between good and evil is a struggle he does not think he can face. He reiterates his false confidence to himself repeatedly.... [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]
764 words (2.2 pages)