Rigidity Of Puritanism Exposed In Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

1380 words - 6 pages

Rigidity of Puritanism Exposed in Young Goodman Brown

  Proverbs 10:28 implies the idea of the universality of sin in

saying "The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked

come to nothing."  In "Young Goodman Brown", Nathaniel Hawthorne

illustrates this through Brown's actions.  When Brown lives a righteous

life with good faith, his thoughts remain pure and happy.  He has a

wonderful wife, and he enjoys the presence of everyone.  As he takes his

walk into the forest and into evil ways, his hopes and faith disappear.  He

no longer loves his wife in the same way, and he despises everyone whom

people consider were holy.  When he loses his faith, he loses his happiness.

 To regain his happiness, Brown must find his righteousness again.

Puritans believe there is no hope for a sinner.  Hawthorne uses a variety

of writing techniques to condemn the rigidity of Puritanism.

 

      For example, Hawthorne uses a wide variety of diction to create a

mystical and hopeless mood.  As Brown walks into the "dreary" forest, an "

uncertain" feeling comes over him as he looks ahead to the "gloom" awaiting

him.  The forest is very dark and dreary and these words help create the

eerie mood.  These words create an insecure and unsure feeling in the

reader's mind.  The reader feels as if he stands right there on the

outskirts of the forest along with Brown. That type of feeling scares even

the bravest of men.  Hawthorne also describes the events taking place in

the forest as "devilish," "horrid," and "evil."  Evil completely surrounds

Brown in the forest.  It puts a thought in him which drives him crazy.

These words give a very insecure feeling to the reader.  No one likes the

feeling of evil, which Hawthorne portrays all throughout the story.  The

evil feeling adds to the dreary mood, and it also gives a hopeless feeling

to the reader.  Nothing good comes out of evil, and these words tell the

reader that something horrible might happen.  He then describes Brown as "

stern," or "sad," or even a "desperate man," who needs help.  Brown's

experiences horrify him.  They eventually change him to a stern and sad man.

 He can never see his friends and loved ones the same.  When you think of

hopelessness, disparity often comes to mind.  Brown feels desperate and

hopeless about his future.  He doesn't know what to do about this nightmare.

 The thought of losing his wonderful past frightens him.

 

      Also, symbolism plays a large role in promoting the idea of

universal capacity for sin. For instance, the name alone of Young Goodman

Brown stands for every Puritan man.  He, like all others, must eventually

face sin.  Brown's wife Faith also represents belief in Calvinism. When

his passion and love for his wife rage like a fire, his faith rages as well.

 Both his faith...

Find Another Essay On Rigidity of Puritanism Exposed in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

Faith in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

1113 words - 4 pages Missing Works Cited Nathaniel Hawthorne’s allegorical story “Young Goodman Brown” is set in Salem, Massachusetts during the late sixteen hundreds in a time of religious hysteria and only a few generations after the infamous witch trials. Although "Young Goodman Brown" is a fictional tale, it is based on the cynical environment of Salem during this time period. The short story is filled with many literary elements, leading you to question what

Loss of Faith in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

1076 words - 4 pages their surface value.  Man loses faith as a result of vulnerability.    Man loses his faith because of pride, weakness, and erroneous values.  Hawthorne's short story, "Young Goodman Brown," shows how man loses faith.  A good example of how man loses faith is shown by a group of people from the 1920s. Gertrude Stein created the expression "the lost generation" when writing to Ernest Hemingway in an epigraph to the novel, The Sun Also Rises

Hawthorne's use of the narrator in Young Goodman Brown

777 words - 3 pages In Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown," the story is told through the eyes of a limited omniscient third-person narrator. 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

Ambiguity in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

1847 words - 7 pages Ambiguity in “Young Goodman Brown”             There is no end to the ambiguity in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown”; this essay hopes to explore this problem.   Peter Conn in “Finding a Voice in an New Nation” makes a statement regarding Hawthorne’s ambiguity:    Almost all of Hawthorne’s finest stories are remote in time or place. The glare of contemporary reality immobillized his imagination. He required

Ambiguity in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

1727 words - 7 pages Ambiguity in “Young Goodman Brown”               Peter Conn in “Finding a Voice in an New Nation” makes a statement regarding Hawthorne’s ambiguity:  “Almost all of Hawthorne’s finest stories are remote in time or place. The glare of contemporary reality immobillized his imagination. He required shadows and half-light, and he sought a nervous equilibrium in ambiguity” (82). There is considerable ambiguity in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young

The Ambiguity in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

1655 words - 7 pages The Ambiguity in “Young Goodman Brown”        The literary critics agree that there is considerable ambiguity in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown.” This essay intends to illustrate the previous statement and to analyze the cause of this ambiguity.   Henry James in Hawthorne, when discussing “Young Goodman Brown” comments on how imaginative it is, then mentions how allegorical Hawthorne is, and how allegory should be

Literary Motifs in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

1849 words - 7 pages Literary Motifs in “Young Goodman Brown”           A literary motif “is a conspicuous element, such as a type of incident, device, reference, or formula, which occurs frequently in works of literature” (Abrams 169). Incredibly, this one tale, “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, contains an array of familiar literary motifs (Axelrod 337).   First of all, the tale involves the common motif of a journey in quest of

Theme in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

1775 words - 7 pages goodly young woman to be taken into communion."   There remains but one pure source of faith in the life of the protagonist, and that is his wife Faith: “’With Heaven above, and Faith below, I will yet stand firm against the devil!’ cried Goodman Brown.” But shortly this last bastion of goodness is consumed by evil, as one of Faith’s ribbons falls from a cloud whence evil voices come:   But something fluttered lightly down through

Characterization in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

2858 words - 11 pages Characterization in “Young Goodman Brown”          The dialogue, action and motivation revolve about the characters in the story (Abrams 32-33). It is the purpose of this essay to demonstrate the types of characters present in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown,” whether static or dynamic, whether flat or round, and whether protrayed through showing or telling.   There are only three well-developed, or three

Symbolism in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

2494 words - 10 pages Symbolism in Young Goodman Brown                 Edmund Fuller and B. Jo Kinnick in “Stories Derived from New England Living” state: “Hawthorne’s unique gift was for the creation of strongly symbolic stories which touch the deepest roots of man’s moral nature” (31). It is the purpose of this essay to explore the main symbolism contained within Nathaniel Hawthorne’s tale, “Young Goodman Brown.”   Stanley T. Williams in “Hawthorne’s

An Analysis of Theme in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

943 words - 4 pages Nathaniel Hawthorne, in his short story “Young Goodman Brown,” details the frailty of human morality when he has the story’s protagonist (Goodman Brown) journey through the forest on All Hollows Eve to witness/participate in a witches’ Sabbath just to see what evil/sin is all about. During Young Goodman Brown’s journey, his faith is shaken as he witnesses those he respects the most also journeying to and participating in the witch’s Sabbath

Similar Essays

Young Goodman Brown: The Evils Of Puritanism

2147 words - 9 pages Puritanism dominated 17th century history and literature. Nathaniel Hawthorne born in 1804 was an American writer who sought to resolve his conflicts with Puritanism through his writing. Hawthorne wrote several stories showing the world the horrors of the Puritan faith and the isolation of individuals who failed to uphold the faith. For Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown illustrates the difference between Puritan teaching and practicing and reflects

Sin In Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

2509 words - 10 pages Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630 "with his Bible and his sword" (26). A further connection can also be seen in his more notable ancestor John Hathorne, who exemplified the level of zealousness in Puritanism with his role as persecutor in the Salem Witch Trials. The study of his own family from the establishment of the Bay Colony to the Second Great Awakening of his own time parallels the issues brought forth in "Young Goodman Brown."  In looking into

Symbolism In Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

685 words - 3 pages Symbolism in Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" is full of symbolism throughout the story. Perhaps the most interesting examples of symbolism include the title character, Young Goodman Brown, as well as his wife, Faith, and the woods that Young Goodman Brown enters on his journey. Included are many allusions to Christianity and also to evil and sin. These references are expressed mainly

Blind Faith In Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

939 words - 4 pages Young Goodman Brown:  Blind Faith Is it possible for a man to be SO hypnotized by faith that he is incapable of apprehending the truth that surrounds him? Yes. The principle of faith centers heavily around the confident belief of an idea set by a person or community. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown," the faith of an individual conflicts with the faith of the community. The story takes place during the period where all devoted