Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown Essay

1392 words - 6 pages

It seems necessary to write down some lines about the author. Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts. Because of the involvement of his ancestor in the Salem witch trials , Nathaniel later added a "w" to make his name "Hawthorne" in order to hide this relation. He entered Bowdoin College in 1821, and graduated in 1825. Hawthorne published his first work, Fanshawe, in 1828. He published several short stories after that which he collected in 1837 as Twice-Told Tales. His masterpiece, The Scarlet Letter, was published in 1850. A political appointment took Hawthorne and family to Europe before their return to The Wayside in 1860. Hawthorne died on May 19, 1864.
Much of Hawthorne's writing centers on New England, many works featuring moral allegories with a Puritan inspiration. His fiction works are considered part of the Romantic movement and, more specifically, Dark romanticism. His themes often center on the inherent evil and sin of humanity, and his works often have moral messages and deep psychological complexity. His published works include novels, short stories, and a biography of his friend Franklin Pierce.
Discussion:
The story starts at sunset in a village named Salem, as young Goodman Brown leaves his wife, Faith, for a duty in the forest. Faith begs her husband to stay with her, but he insists that the journey must be completed that night. In the forest he meets an older man, carried a staff looked like a black serpent.
Other inhabitants of the village were in the woods that night. Suddenly Young Goodman Brown hears his wife's voice in the trees so decides to fly through the forest by the old man’s staff. At the ceremony he and Faith approach the altar, he shouts at Faith to look to heaven and resist. After that he finds himself alone in the forest, next to the cold, wet rock.
The next morning , he arrives at his home , he is not sure whether the previous night's events were real or a dream, but his belief he lives in a Christian community is distorted. He loses his faith in his wife, along with all of humanity. The story concludes: "And when he had lived long, and was borne to his grave...they carved no hopeful verse upon his tombstone, for his dying hour was gloom."
Author's style:
Generally, style refers to the manner in which an author chooses to write to his or her audience. A style reveals both the writer's personality and voice, but it also shows how she or he perceives the audience.
Considering the above definition, it can be said that although Nathaniel Hawthorn’s uses a simple style in Young Goodman Brown, he has a “detailed” style. Twenty five thousand words describing people and places in detail ; based on two brief visits were recorded by Clarice Swisher in “Nathaniel Hawthorne: a Biography”. By using detailed style, it seems that each and every selected word is meaningful in his sentences. For example the opening sentence:
“Young Goodman Brown came forth at sunset, into the street of Salem village,...

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