Analysis Of Young Goodman Brown: By, Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Analysis of Young Goodman brown: by, Nathaniel Hawthorne


There has been much speculation and analysis on Nathaniel Hawthorne's “Young Goodman Brown.” Each and every one has their own opinions about what Hawthorne really meant about this short story, but of course you can tell by their accreditation which source is more likely to be accurate. In “Young Goodman Brown”, the main character, Goodman Brown, experiences a life changing revelation at the beginning of this short story. The experience is a walk through the woods, something that he states his father and father's father embarked on. This particular journey shapes his life and changes him forever.

Analysis of the story

What is particularly peculiar about this journey is that it goes through the woods at night. And during this time period if you were caught in the woods at night you were considered a Satan worshiper, doing the Devil's brood, or practicing witchcraft, which meant all the same things during this era. We know Young Goodman Brown is a Puritan based on his belief system, so this experience isn't one he is looking forward to, but he knows he has to do it. Kind of like getting a shot, you know you have to do it, and it's good for you, but you are hesitant about doing it. So along the journey he meets with a man that looks similar to him, but older. The man is kind of dark and shady, and he carries a staff that looks like a serpent. So the symbolism there represents that this man is the Devil (Nathaniel. Pp. 420-428).

Throughout the duration of his journey, Goodman Brown sees townspeople in the woods, and the man that resembles the Devil talk to several of them. Knowing that being out in the woods at night associates you with Satan worshiping, he starts to wonder if all the townsfolk are two faced, Puritans by day, and Satan worshipers by night. The uncertainty is the revelation that Goodman Brown has. He never trusts anyone in the town after that moment.

The older man and Young Goodman Brown continue to walk throughout the woods and find Goody Cloyse, Goodwife is referred to as Goody for shorthand and this old woman seems to be torturing a little child. Goodman Brown assumes that she is teaching the child witchcraft and he snatches the child away. He realizes that Goody Cloyse is the woman who taught him all ...
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