Psychological Analysis of Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

Psychological Analysis of Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

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Psychological Analysis of Young Goodman Brown  

There are many approaches that you can take when analyzing literature.  In  Young Goodman Brown there are many layers to read through.  By using the psychological approach to literature, you can see many levels that you may not have noticed while just reading the piece.  When using the psychological ideas, you become more intuned into the subtle details produced by the work.  Most of the points that reveal themselves, Freud explained through his ideas about consciousness and human sexuality.  Using the psychological approach to reading literature, Young Goodman Brown's layes unfold and the parts better understood.

        The opening paragraph to Hawthorne's  Young Goodman Brown is a prime example of how Freud's ideas apply to literature.  The first and most obvious of the implications is the wife's name.  Because her name is Faith, the first connection that immeadiatly forms is religion.  In the beginning of the story the relevance vaguely presents itself, but as you read on the religious connection fits with the rest of the work.  Strict Puritanism ruled te way of life through the time that the book emerged.  The mention by Hawthorne to the " pink ribbons of her cap" reach far from appropriate for the time.  These ribbons suggest that Faith lacks purity and that she presents herself in a frivolous manner.  Later in the writing, more references to Freude's sexual bases show themselves.  The lone lady that Goodman Brown sees standing in the woods turns out to be his Sunday school teacher.  She makes some leude comments about Brown's traveling companion " being her master". However these layers contain more than just sex.  In the paragraph that Goodman Brown exclaims:

"My Faith is gone!" cried he, after one stupefied moment.  "There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name.  Come devil; for to thee is the world given."

        This passage examplifies how his wife's name contains two meanings.  First, he becomes upset because he lost her.  However, if you apply the psychological approach to the quote, you can see that he also referrs to the fact that he lost his faith in a religious sense.  He realizes that because he strayed so much on this night of evil that he can no longer be pure.

        The story of  Young Goodman Brown contains more than just what you read.

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  By applying the thoeries of psychology to the text, it becomes a completely new dimension.  Rather than just a story about a young man who strays into the woods with a man whom he never met before and seeing strange things, the story takes on a different face.  By analyzing it with this approach, it becomes clear that the story involves sex, religion, and one man's struggles with his inner demons.  By applying the pshychological theories to the story, the reader opens up new view points that they failed to notice initially.
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