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A Critical review of Young Goodman Brown


a Critical review of Young Goodman Brown

Young Goodman Brown, is the dark man that he meets in the forest. The devil is Brown, father, and grandfather all rolled into one, the exact counterpart of Faith, Brown s heavenly side. He thinks there is no good on earth Brown, waking from his dream, if it was a dream, sees evil even where it is not He had stumbled upon that mystery of sin which, rightly understood, provides the only sane and cheerful view of life. Hawthorne s message is far more depressing and horrifying. Walsh says that the third symbolic instrument used in the story is the devil, which represents the evil side of Brown. Walsh says that the trees that are closing immediately after he passes them symbolize the evil closing off his escape. The gloomy trees and the dark path, which closed behind him as he continued on the path, symbolized what he was doing. The blackened cloud symbolizes Brown s soul, which by now is tormented by evil. McKeithan also believes that the theme to Hawthorne s; Young Goodman Brown, is based on the ability that evil has to persuade man to do wrong and the falseness of man s virtues. Nathaniel Hawthorne s short story of Young Goodman Brown is a reflection of the Puritan faith as well as man s conflict between good and evil.

McKeithan says that Hawthorne is saying that in every human heart there is sin, but the story does not emphasize on sin alone, it emphasizes on the effects of sin. When the ribbons fell to the ground, Brown is left to believe that his Faith has failed him. The dark man informs Brown of the terrible things that his family has done in the past, which causes him to doubt the good in man. The journey taken by Brown is symbolic to an inward journey to the depths of the human heart.

a Critical review of Young Goodman Brown

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During the journey in the woods Brown looked towards the darkened sky in doubt that heaven existed. The story is obviously an individual tragedy, and those who treat it as such are right, of course; but, far beyond the personal plane, it has universal implications. Brown is not sure that the meeting was reality or merely a dream, and if the people of the town were actually there. McKeithan states that to interpret Young Goodman Brown, the reader must make the distinction between sin and the effects of sin. As Brown continued to journey deeper into the forest, he felt ashamed of what he was doing to Faith. As Brown lifted up his arms to pray, the pink ribbons worn by Faith fell to the ground. Literary critic Mark Van why was the Bill of Rights Doren states: Young Goodman Brown means exactly what it says, namely that its hero left his pretty young wife one evening to walk by himself in a primitive New England woods, the Devil s territory, and either to dream or actually. Brown s journey into the dark woods is said to be parallel to depths of his soul. Brown then says; With heaven above and Faith below, I will yet stand firm against the devil. In conclusion to this critical analysis, I have used criticism in emphasizing on Hawthorne s usage of theme and symbolism in the story of Young Goodman Brown.

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