Nathaniel Hawthorne 1804-1864

*  Born in Salem, Massachusetts

*  Puritan Background

*  Ancestor of John Hawthorne – one of the three judges in the Salem Witch Trials

*  Began writing after college at Bowdoin College in Maine

*  Spent many years in seclusion – starving artist

*  Held many jobs including writer, publisher, working at a custom house, and consul in England

His Most Famous Works:

*  Novels

*  The House of Seven Gables

*  The Scarlet Letter

*  Short Stories

           - “The Minister’s Black Veil”

           - “Young Goodman Brown”

Puritans Believes:

*  Wanted a “pure” church

*  No candles

*  No Images

*  No stained glass windows

*  Rejected the “showy” church of England

*  Led very somber lives governed solely by a strict interpretation of the Bible

*  No “nonsense” – dancing, gambling, drama, etc

 

“Young Goodman Brown”

       "Young Goodman Brown" tells the story of a Puritan man who loses faith in humankind after he thinks he witnesses his wife and respected members of his town participating in an unholy ritual. His experience dooms him to a life of gloom and mistrust. It opens with young Goodman brown; about to go on a journey, His young wife, Faith, fearful for some unknown reason, beseeches him to delay his journey. Goodman Brown, however, stresses that he has a task that must be accomplished before sunrise.

So, as he was walking deep into the forest, he finds an old man waiting for him (the devil in disguise). Then brown finds out that a lot of people whom he really trusted to be good Christians , turns out to be followers of the devil , including( the minister , Deacon gookin , the woman who used to teach him catechism , and his wife , faith) . At the ceremony, the new converts are called to come forth. When he and Faith approach the altar, he cries out to Faith to look to heaven and resist. In the next instant he finds himself standing alone in the forest, next to the cold, wet rock.

Setting

* Natural, Hostile, Salem, MA, around 1690, Sunset, night, Dark, Forest.

Characters

*  Young Goodman Brown

*  His wife, Faith

*  Mysterious man in the forest with a strange looking staff

       Minor Character’s Notes…

*  Constable: person in law enforcement

*  Deacon: position in church held by congregation member 

*  Goody: abbr. of “goodwife”,  female version of goodman

 

Young Goodman Brown as an Allegory

*  What is an allegory?

*  A story where everything is a symbol

*  Used commonly to instruct especially in religious matters

*  Some famous allegories are:

*  Dante’s Divine Comedy (more famous though is the first part commonly known as Dante’s Inferno

The Allegory of Young Goodman Brown

 

*  The Forest                       Evil / Sin

 


*  The Snake                       Satan  The Devil

 

*   Pink                                 Purity

 

*   Red                                    Sin

 

*    Fire                                 Hell

 

*  Stars / Sky                       Connection with God

 

Allegorical Parallels between Meeting and Church Service

*  Dreadful anthem                =      Hymn singing

*  Rock                                       =      Altar or pulpit

*  Blazing pines                       =      Candles

*  Assembled

            Townspeople                        =        Church congregation

*  Satan                                       =        Pastor

*  Swelling chorus                   =      Church choir/organ

*  Presentation of      

            converts and basin

            of blood                                =      Baptism

 

WORKS CITED

*  http://www.cummingsstudyguides.net/Brown.html

*  http://www.echeat.com/essay.php?t=25431

*  http://www.enotes.com/nineteenth-century-criticism/
young-goodman-brown-nathaniel-hawthorne