In Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown," the story is told through the eyes of a limited omniscient third-person narrator.
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This style is very accommodating to the story because it allows the author perfect opportunities to express his points. The narrator can both describe what Goodman Brown is doing, and also evaluate and comment on the characters actions. This is a tool of the author to use the narrator to express his own personal beliefs on mankind.
The narrator possesses the capability of reading the thoughts and feelings of the protagonist, the young Puritan husband, Goodman Brown, only among all the characters.
A History of the American Mind: "Young Goodman Brown"
As Brown turns the corner at the meeting house, he thinks:. In the story, Goodman Brown takes a journey through the heathen wilderness and comes upon a witchcraft ceremony. All of the townspeople are there, which leads Brown to believe that they are all evil.
At the end of the story, Brown wakes up in the woods and walks back into town. He does not know if the previous nights activities were real or if they were a dream. Nevertheless, it makes Brown suspicious of everyone. This shows that, since mankind is inherently evil, we all have sins that we cannot escape. This is shown through the characterization, style, and through the point of view. In the beginning of the story, Goodman Brown is leaving on an evil journey.
He does not want to go, but he feels as though he must go. He feels that even though he is about to do something evil, he will still be able to get into Heaven by clinging onto his wife, Faith. This pun says two things. One, it shows that we cannot escape are sins. It illustrates this by Brown thinking that he will not be able to get into Heaven because of this one sin that he is about to commit he cannot escape this sin.
Another thing that this pun points out is that we cannot get into Heaven unless we cling onto faith. Hawthorne suggests throughout the story that all of mankind is evil. He does this by his characterization. When Goodman Brown claims that his family has always been a good Christian family. The Devil replies by saying that he has helped Browns father and grandfather do evil things. Hawthorne also places the Deacon and the Minister at the witchcraft ceremony.
This implies that even our spiritual leaders have sin. In fact, the whole town of Salem was present at the ceremony.
Then they loaded weights onto his or her body. American dramatist Arthur Miller wrote a play, The Crucible , about these trials. Belief in evil forces such as witches, warlocks, and diabolical spirits was widespread in America and Europe during and before the 17th Century. Although "Young Goodman Brown" is a fictional tale, it is based on the atmosphere prevailing in Salem, Mass. Does Goodman Brown really attend a witches' sabbath or does he dream about it? Research the life of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Then write an essay discussing the extent to which his family background influenced him when he wrote "Young Goodman Brown.
Why does Goodman Brown become "a stern, a sad, a darkly meditative, a distrustful, if not a desperate man" after his experience in the forest? Why are people today fascinated with stories about witchcraft, sorcery, and magic?
Essay about Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown – Point of View
After Goodman Brown returns from the forest, he becomes a cynical man. Does he see evil where there is goodness? For example, are people on one side of an issue attempting to discredit people on the other side of the issue by using unfair tactics that impugn the latter's reputation? Complete Text With Numbered Paragraphs. A lone woman is troubled with such dreams and such thoughts, that she's afeard of herself, sometimes. Pray, tarry with me this night, dear husband, of all nights in the year!
My journey, as thou callest it, forth and back again, must needs be done 'twixt now and sunrise. What, my sweet, pretty wife, dost thou doubt me already, and we but three months married! She talks of dreams, too. Methought, as she spoke, there was trouble in her face, as if a dream had warned her what work is to be done to-night. But, no, no! Well; she's a blessed angel on earth; and after this one night, I'll cling to her skirts and follow her to Heaven.
He had taken a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest, which barely stood aside to let the narrow path creep through, and closed immediately behind. It was all as lonely as could be; and there is this peculiarity in such a solitude, that the traveller 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. He arose, at Goodman Brown's approach, and walked onward, side by side with him.
As nearly as could be discerned, the second traveller was about fifty years old, apparently in the same rank of life as Goodman Brown, and bearing a considerable resemblance to him, though perhaps more in expression than features.
Still, they might have been taken for father and son. And yet, though the elder person was as simply clad as the younger, and as simple in manner too, he had an indescribable air of one who knew the world, and would not have felt abashed at the governor's dinner-table, or in King William's court, were it possible that his affairs should call him thither.
Setting of the Story
But the only thing about him, that could be fixed upon as remarkable, was his staff, which bore the likeness of a great black snake, so curiously wrought, that it might almost be seen to twist and wriggle itself like a living serpent. This, of course, must have been an ocular deception, assisted by the uncertain light. Take my staff, if you are so soon weary. I have scruples, touching the matter thou wot'st of. We are but a little way in the forest, yet. We have been a race of honest men and good Christians, since the days of the martyrs.
Point Of View Of Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown
And shall I be the first of the name of Brown, that ever took this path and kept--". I have been as well acquainted with your family as with ever a one among the Puritans; and that's no trifle to say. I helped your grandfather, the constable, when he lashed the Quaker woman so smartly through the streets of Salem.
And it was I that brought your father a pitch-pine knot, kindled at my own hearth, to set fire to an Indian village, in King Philip's War. I would fain be friends with you, for their sake. Or, verily, I marvel not, seeing that the least rumor of the sort would have driven them from New England. We are a people of prayer, and good works to boot, and abide no such wickedness. The deacons of many a church have drunk the communion wine with me; the selectmen, of divers towns, make me their chairman; and a majority of the Great and General Court are firm supporters of my interest.
The governor and I, too--but these are state-secrets. But, were I to go on with thee, how should I meet the eye of that good old man, our minister, at Salem village? Oh, his voice would make me tremble, both Sabbath-day and lecture-day!