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goodman brown was The Nature Of Evil In Young Goodman Brown

The Nature of Evil in Young Goodman Brown




In Young Goodman Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne tells the tale of a man and his discovery of evil.  Hawthornes primary concern is with evil and how it affects Young Goodman Brown.  Through the use of tone and setting, Hawthorne portrays the nature of evil and the psychological effects it can have on man.  He shows how discovering the existence of evil brings Brown to view the world in a cynical way.  Brown learns the nature of evil and, therefore, feels surrounded by its presence constantly.
Hawthorne creates a serious and somber tone throughout much of the story.  From the start, the audience gets a sense that Brown will go through relentless agony from the devilish stranger.  His diction in the opening paragraphs is a good indicator of this.  He uses words such as melancholy, evil, dreary, and grave to evoke a certain mood in the reader. There is little relief from this seriousness that would suggest that Hawthornes attitude about the story be hopeful.  Browns attitude and actions portray a negative view of Salem and its people.  He ponders the hypocrisy of the town as well as that of the Puritans.  He examines the possibility that evil and corruption exist in a town that is supposedly characterized by piety and devout faith.  
The story is set in seventeenth-century Salem, a time and place where sin and evil were greatly analyzed and feared.  The townspeople, in their Puritan beliefs, were obsessed with the nature of sin and with finding ways to be rid of it altogether through purification of the soul.  At times, people were thought to be possessed by the devil and to practice witchcraft.  As punishment for these crimes, some were subjected to torturous acts or even horrible deaths.  Thus, Hawthornes choice of setting is instrumental in the development of theme.
He uses contrast as a means to portray the village as good and the forest as bad.  This adds significance to the fact that Brown begins his journey in the town and proceeds then to the forest.  The use of imagery captures the appearance of the forest as well as lending a sense of foreboding towards the impending evil.  Hawthorne says of Brown, He had taken a dreary road, darkened by the gloomiest trees of the forestIt was all as lonely as it could be (2208).  Immediately following this description, Brown speculates that he may not be alone in the forest.  He fears that there may be a devilish indian or the devil himself in his presence (2208).  He is disturbed by the fact that he knows not who may be concealed by the innumerable trunks and the thick boughs overhead; so that with lonely footsteps he may yet be passing through an unseen multitude (2208). This suggests to the reader that he is no longer feeling the comfort and safety he felt at home and is suspicious of what lies ahead.  Brown is fearful of his mission even before leaving. However, in leaving the village, he leaves religious order, the familiarity of the scenery, and his beloved Faith.  Upon entering the forest, he becomes victim to the possibility of the discovery and consequences of evil.  In fact, it is in the forest where evil manifests itself to him in the form of an older man of the same dress and class as Brown.  It is this experience which ultimately affects his outlook of the world.
Taken at a literal level, the story is about a man who goes on a journey to the forest and encounters various strange situations.  However, the narrator is working on two levels.  There are objects and characters in the story which are representative of something else.  For instance, Browns wife, Faith, represents religious faith.  She also exemplifies what it means to be a good woman and wife. He worries that Faiths dreams are warnings although she is his only justification for making the evil journey.  She is his hope for an excellent future.  Brown describes her as, blessed angel on earth and promises that after this one night, he will, cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven (2207).  When Brown, ... more

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Self reliance




I will, in the following, discuss the theme of self-reliance in the above-mentioned texts. But what exactly is self-reliance? In his 1841 publication called Essays, Ralph Waldo Emerson includes an essay simply entitled Self-Reliance in which he states “Trust thyself…Great men have always done so and confided themselves childlike to the genius of their age…” . Self-reliance is thus defined as the ability to be your own master and to seek your own fortune free from influences from your surroundings.
Hawthorne wrote Young Goodman Brown in 1835, some 6 years before Emerson’s Self-Reliance. Still it is obvious from the text that the notion of self-reliance was, if not named, very much alive. In the text we encounter Goodman Brown – a pious puritan settler - as he embarks on a strange and perilous journey into the woods surrounding the settlement. Hawthorne, being a harsh critic of the puritan society from which he himself derived, uses the story as an allegory, a metaphor, for the necessity of facing your internal demons and doing it alone. The Puritans believed that the wilderness was the home of the devil and his minions (Indians, wild beasts and the like) and
as such was a place to be shunned. Still, Goodman Brown leaves behind his devoted and maiden-
like wife (appropriately named Faith) and walks off. In the woods he encounters a man with features remarkably like his own   (it is himself, his demon within) that guides him to a place of evil worship. Goodman Brown has visions of unthinkable evil that leaves him paranoid and unable to feel happiness for the remainder of his life. Because he has succumbed to fear of failure, he fails. But why does he fail that way? Simple. Goodman Brown fails to trust in himself. Instead he leaves his mental well being in the hands of the community from which he comes. To the Puritans the individual mind was fragile and prone to heresy if tempted. Only united did they stand a chance against the endless temptations of the devil. This is exactly the notion against which Hawthorne revolts. Had Goodman Brown had the willpower and the self-esteem necessary, he would have prevailed. With the ability to trust in one-self comes the ability to deal with any problem that life might throw in ones way, even the temptations of the soul. Thus we see the idea of self-reliance creeping into view.
Samuel L. Clemens first published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in 1884, a time where the idea of self-reliance was firmly established in the minds of the American people. The narrator and main protagonist Huck Finn is a young boy already introduced to the public in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) in which Huck is a runaway. He lives in an old barrel free of all obligations and is generally a happy boy. As Tom Sawyer progresses the boys help find a band of highwaymen, get them arrested and punished, and become rich in the process. Huck gets himself adopted by the Widow Douglas and this is where we encounter him in the beginning of Huckleberry Finn. Although he has been given everything the society deemed appropriate at the time (i.e. a family, a home etc.) Huck finds himself uncomfortable in his new clothing, unable to conform to strict house rules enforced upon him by the widow (“…The widow rung a bell for supper, and you had to come to time…” ). He generally misses the old days when he and Tom would wander about doing what they pleased. It is obvious that Clemens infuses Huck with his own ideas of freedom and wanderlust as something very positive. In fact it is almost certain that without these qualities Huck would never have survived to this point. As the story advances we encounter Huck’s father: A violent drunk with a massive inferiority complex towards everybody. He was the reason that Huck ran off and found his barrel in the first place and he is the only person that Huck truly fears. On the other hand he is his father and deep down Huck wants for them to have a normal life together. At
his reappearance, Huck’s father takes Huck ... more

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  • G: Young goodman brown G: Young goodman brown Young goodman brown Young Goodman Brown 'Lo! There ye stand, my children,' said the figure, in a deep and solemn tone, almost sad, with its despairing awfulness, as if his once angelis nature could yet mourn for our miserable race. Depending on one another's hearts, ye had still hoped, that virtue were not all a dream. Now ye are undeceived! Evil is the nature of mankind. Evil must be your only happiness. Welcome, again, my children, to the communion of your race!' The above quotation from Ha...
  • O: The Nature Of Evil In Young Goodman Brown O: The Nature Of Evil In Young Goodman Brown The Nature Of Evil In Young Goodman Brown The Nature of Evil in Young Goodman Brown In Young Goodman Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne tells the tale of a man and his discovery of evil. Hawthornes primary concern is with evil and how it affects Young Goodman Brown. Through the use of tone and setting, Hawthorne portrays the nature of evil and the psychological effects it can have on man. He shows how discovering the existence of evil brings Brown to view the world in a cynical way. Brown learns the ...
  • O: Self reliance O: Self reliance Self reliance I will, in the following, discuss the theme of self-reliance in the above-mentioned texts. But what exactly is self-reliance? In his 1841 publication called Essays, Ralph Waldo Emerson includes an essay simply entitled Self-Reliance in which he states Trust thyself&Great men have always done so and confided themselves childlike to the genius of their age& . Self-reliance is thus defined as the ability to be your own master and to seek your own fortune free from influences from yo...
  • D: Young Goodman Brown D: Young Goodman Brown Young Goodman Brown Young Goodman Brown Young Goodman Brown, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a story that is thick with allegory. Young Goodman Brown is a moral story which is told through the perversion of a religious leader. In Young Goodman Brown, Goodman Brown is a Puritan minister who lets his excessive pride in himself interfere with his relations with the community after he meets with the devil, and causes him to live the life of an exile in his own community. Young Goodman Brown begin...
  • M: To Room Nineteen M: To Room Nineteen To Room Nineteen To Room Nineteen Surprise Endings Many stories often benefit from surprise endings. They can give us great insight into the characters. Four stories that have surprise endings are Rose for Emily, Young Goodman Brown, To Room Nineteen, and The Necklace. The surprise in Rose for Emily, by William Faulkner, is in the last sentence of the story. When they see the long strand of iron-gray hair (43) on the pillow. Through this we now see what Emily has been doing over the years. We no...
  • A: Throughout the story, Brown lacks emotion as a nor A: Throughout the story, Brown lacks emotion as a nor i Throughout the story, Brown lacks emotion as a normal person would have had. The closest Brown comes to showing an emotion is when a hanging twig, that had been all on fire, besprinkled his cheek with the coldest dew. The dew on his cheek represents a tear that Brown is unable to produce because of his lack of emotion. Hawthorne shows that Brown has no compassion for the weaknesses he sees in others, no remorse for his own sin, and no sorrow for his loss of faith. (Easterly 339) His lack o...
  • N: Young Goodman Brown and Rappacinis Daughter N: Young Goodman Brown and Rappacinis Daughter Young Goodman Brown and Rappacini's Daughter Young Goodman Brown And Rappacinis Daughter 2001words In Puritan Massachusetts the key word was suspicion. In order to be accepted, by the community, you had to be a member of the elect, destined for a spot in the eternity of heaven. In order to be member of this elite group of selected individuals you had to be free of sin and evil. It goes without saying, that you could never be caught conjuring the devil, as is illustrated by the horrors of th...
  •  : Hawthorne : Hawthorne Word Count: 2691 Young Goodman Brown , by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a story that is thick with allegory. Young Goodman Brown is a moral story which is told through the perversion of a religious leader. In Young Goodman Brown , Goodman Brown is a Puritan minister who lets his excessive pride in himself interfere with his relations with the community after he meets with the devil, and causes him to live the life of an exile in his own community. Young Goodman Brown begins when Faith, Brown's wife, a...
  • B: Free YGB Essays: Symbols and Symbolism in Young Go B: Free YGB Essays: Symbols and Symbolism in Young Go Free YGB Essays: Symbols and Symbolism in Young Goodman Brown Young Goodman Brown essays Symbolism in Young Goodman Brown Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in 1804, in Salem, Massachusetts. In addition, his great-great-grandfather was a judge presiding over the infamous Salem witch trials. As a result, Hawthorne built resentment toward Puritan pride. So he wrote a allegory about his feelings in 1835. In Young Goodman Brown, Hawthorne uses symbolism throughout the story. Three significant symbols ...
  • R: The Young GoodMan Brown What happened to all my pa R: The Young GoodMan Brown What happened to all my pa The Young GoodMan Brown What happened to all my paragraphs Young Goodman Brown, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a story that is rich in metaphors which ultimately question the very morals and ethics of his religious society. In Young Goodman Brown, Goodman Brown is a proud Puritan who meets with the devil that causes him to become aware of the society he lives in. The story about Goodman Brown centers on a proud man who thinks that a meeting with the Devil cant alter his faith in religion. He al...
  • O: Lotery death of a salesman O: Lotery death of a salesman Lotery death of a salesman The Lottery / Young Goodman Brown The two short essays written by Jackson and Hawthorne are both thought provoking and full of evil. Many symbols are used to help develop the themes of both stories. The authors unveil the stories in such a way that you really don't know what the outcomes are going to be, but you do know that they will involve insights into morality - of both the main characters and the societies in which they live. Hopefully, by discussing the two shor...
  • W: Reoccurring Themes and Symbols W: Reoccurring Themes and Symbols Reoccurring Themes and Symbols By: James Nichols Reoccurring Themes and Symbols in Different Works by Nathaniel Hawthorne It is no secret that Nathaniel Hawthornes The Ministers Black Veil is a parable. Hawthorne intended it as such and even gave the story the subtitle a parable. The Ministers Black Veil, however, was not Hawthornes only parable. Hawthorne often used symbols and figurative language to give added meaning to the literal interpretations of his work. Hi...
  • N: Young Goodman Brown Goodman Brown N: Young Goodman Brown Goodman Brown Young Goodman Brown Goodman Brown Young Goodman Brown is a moral story that is told through the perversion of a religious leader. In Young Goodman Brown, Goodman Brown is a Puritan minister who lets his excessive pride in himself interfere with his relations with the community after he meets with the devil, and causes him to live the life of an exile in his own community. Young Goodman Brown begins when Faith, Brown's wife, asks him not to go on an errand. Goodman Brown says to his love and (my)...
  •  : Young Goodman Brown By Hawthorne Allegory : Young Goodman Brown By Hawthorne Allegory Young Goodman Brown By Hawthorne Allegory In Hawthornes Young Goodman Brown, the characters and settings are used to show allegory. The characters and setting are used in metaphor to represent something else. The whole story of Young Goodman Brown, represents the journey of everyman. Its path that everyone follows, or so Hawthorne seems to believe. The main character, Young Goodman Brown represents the sense of everyone. His last name, Brown, is a common name and therefore could be taken t...
  • W: Perceptions of faith in young goodman brown W: Perceptions of faith in young goodman brown perceptions of faith in young goodman brown Perceptions of Faith in Young Goodman Brown Throughout ones journey in life, our individual perceptions of faith in God, in mankind, and in ourselves, guide us along our path. In the absence of clarity of our faith, one is led to believe the norm is what proves to be popular within a society. Nathaniel Hawthorne\'s, Young Goodman Brown, demonstrates to the reader, man\'s inherent attraction to evil, the intertwined depths of evil, and that a lack o...
  • A: Bartelby The Scrivener A: Bartelby The Scrivener Bartelby The Scrivener Bartelby the Scrivener I began my Hawthorne reading task with The Birth-Mark. I picked this story because I am familiar with the Maypole of Merrymount and Young Goodman Brown, and I wanted to try something different. I was pleasantly surprised with The Birth-Mark, in my mind it far surpasses the latter two stories. I think one of the most admirable traits of Hawthorne is his ability to write as though actions are taking place somewhere in the present. Aylmer could very wel...
  • S: Light and Darkness in The Scarlet Letter Scarlet L S: Light and Darkness in The Scarlet Letter Scarlet L Light and Darkness in The Scarlet Letter Scarlet Letter essays Light and Darkness in The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter is one of the most analyzed and most discussed literary works in American literature and for good reason. Hawthorne's ambiguity and his intense use of symbols have made this work incredibly complex and incredibly bothersome. In The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses many symbols to give insight into characters and promote his views on society. The...
  • No Romance Found in Hawthornes Young Goodman Brow No Romance Found in Hawthornes Young Goodman Brow No Romance Found in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown Young Goodman Brown essays No Romance Found in Young Goodman Brown Nathaniel Hawthorne, in his short story, Young Goodman Brown, generates a relationship in direct contrast with that of a true romance among the roles of Faith and Young Goodman Brown. Whereas, a true romance is the ideal romance, exhibiting virtuous aspects such as trust, as well as a burning passion and an undying love for one another. The relatio...
  • Free YGB Essays: Nathaniel Hawthornes Young Goodm Free YGB Essays: Nathaniel Hawthornes Young Goodm Free YGB Essays: Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown Young Goodman Brown essays Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a story about revealing true evil and the loss of one man's faith. Nathaniel Hawthorne left Young Goodman Brown up for many interpretations. After reading the story a couple of times, one thing became clear to me. What I absorbed from this story was that evil exists in everyone, does not matter how good we may think we are. Things aren't always what they seem. I ...
  • Free YGB Essay - The Darkness of Hawthornes Young Free YGB Essay - The Darkness of Hawthornes Young Free YGB Essay - The Darkness of Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown Young Goodman Brown essays Young Goodman Brown - The Darkness Young Goodman Brown In short stories, I have learned that there is much more than what at first meets the eye. Almost everything in the story has meaning. All I have to do is try to find the hints and clues the writer drops and manage to put them all together. I have to concentrate more than I ever have so that I can interpret the authors meaning and what he or she...
  • Dispensing with the Truth Dispensing with the Truth Dispensing with the Truth The author of Dispensing With the Truth, Alicia Mundy, is the Washington bureau chief for Mediaweek and a contributing editor at Washingtonian magazine. She has written for U.S. News & World Report, GQ, Philadelphia Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. She is best known for her investigative report which originally broke the 1992 scandal revealing that top United Way executives were stealing money from the organization\'s accounts (Brown, 2001). A...
  • Symbolism In Young Goodman Bro Symbolism In Young Goodman Bro Symbolism In Young Goodman Bro Symbolism in Young Goodman Brown Hawthorne depicts a 17th century Puritan attempting to reach justification as Brown\'s faith required. Upon completing his journey, however, Brown could not confront the terrors of evil in his heart and chose to reject all of society. Puritan justification was a topic Hawthorne was aware of as a journey to hell necessary for a moral man. Having referred to the heart of man as hell, Puritans founds themselves in the midst of Satan an...
  • Michael Duncan Michael Duncan Michael Duncan ENG. 111 T/TH 9:30 am ... it is no delusion. There is an Unpardonable Sin! , a quote by Ethan Brand that is at the root of many stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Nathaniel Hawthornes gloomy, dark style of writing is an emphasis on his theme of evil at societies heart. Writing about what he knew Hawthorne described the puritan society in different periods of time and defined different characters but all connected through his style. The stories that exemplify the diversity of Hawtho...
  • Young Goodman Brown4 Young Goodman Brown4 Young Goodman Brown4 Young Goodman Brown, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a moralizing story. Hawthorne shows us the great importance of our faith in God, our family and friends, and at length ourselves. The plight of Goodman Brown indicates that without our faith we are unable to live life to the fullest possible extent. Faith is our key to happiness. Young Goodman Brown begins with Goodman Brown about to depart for an errand that will take the evening. Faith, Brown\'s wife, asks him not to ...
  • Aids Aids aids Aids by sean ross You can get tested for HIV in a number of locations -- including public clinics, AIDS organizations, physicians\' offices, and hospitals. Many locations give the test for free. You can choose between anonymous tests, in which you do not give your name to the HealthCare provider, or confidential tests, in which you do give your name. Test sites should provide trained counselors who can offer you support and guidance, no matter what the test result.(Balch-97) An HIV test loo...