Literature Review of Young Goodman Brown

Added on - 01 Apr 2020

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Surname1NameCourseDateHeading:Thematic outline in the book “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel HawthorneExecutive summaryAs it is evident in the book "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, it isapparent that various themes are portrayed throughout the text. Amongst the most open ideas inthe book is a criticism of Puritan values, sin and blighting effects that it has on humans, realityversus illusion and symbolism. Nathaniel Hawthorne is termed as one of the greatest Americanfiction writers. Goodman Brown is the main character in the book. The author uses journey toshow how Brown adopts evil ways after leaving his wife Faith.IntroductionYoung Goodman Brown is a book written by American literature star NathanielHawthorne. The book was written in 1821, and the author was pushed by many problems and lifeexperiences. The unfortunate associated with his family which was suspected to be linked withthe sins committed by his forefathers is highly discussed in the book. Throughout the textbook,Nathaniel uses the main character Young Goodman Brown to portray the main themes outlinedin the book. The main issues discussed in the book are a criticism of Puritan values, sin andblighting effects it has on humans, the reality versus illusion and symbolism. The book is rated asamongst the best-written books since it observes high literature standards. The message outlined
Surname2in the textbook is directly related to some of the activities happening nowadays. The authorseemed to write what was going on at the moment to predict what will occur in future. Due to itsmessage and relevance to today's life, the book remains marketable and very many people reviewand read it. In the short story Young Goodman Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne highlights amystical journey of a man into a forest during which the themes of puritan values, sin, realityversus illusion and symbolism are addressed.Puritan ValuesNathaniel Hawthorne uses the journey of Young Goodman Brown in the wilderness andits experiences to show the puritan values (Leavis 1952, p.179). Puritan involves engagingoneself in goodly deeds without hurting others and following Godly ways. Brown seems to doubtthe holiness of others highly (Neary 2006, p.244). It is because he is aware that himself is ahypocrite and considers others to be like him. "Look up to Heaven, and resist the wicked one!"(Hawthorne 2011, p.729). The term used by young Goodman Brown shows that there are peoplewho are still practicing ungodly activities yet they claim to be holy. Brown also discovered theevil in hearts of those surrounding him. "The first of these devils presents himself as a casual,urbane individual: "only clad" and "as simple in manner too, but possessing an indescribable airof one who knew the world, and would not have felt abashed at governors dinner-table, or inKing William's court." (Hawthorne 2011, p.717). The statement of young Goodman Brownreveals that he did not trust the spiritual stand of the individuals surrounding him. The peoplepretended to be good, but the hearts were filled with evil thoughts and wishes for the others. Itshows how the people have left and forgotten simple ways but keeps on pretending.
Surname3SinThe issues of sin amongst people has been a global concern. In his book NathanielHawthorne, the "Young Goodman Brown" the issues of sin and the blighting effects it has on ahuman is highly discussed. Crime seems to be the central idea reigning throughout the textbook.The book portrays the main character Browns sin when he falls into the devil power (Neary2006, p.244). "Well, she is a blessed angel on earth; and after this one night, I will cling to herskirts and follow her to heaven." "With excellent resolve for the future," "Goodman felt justifiedin making more haste on his presence of evil purpose." (Hawthorne 2011, p.729). The authorportrays sin as inescapable part of human nature. "There are all whom ye have reverenced fromyouth, ye deemed them holier than yourselves, and shrank from your sin, contrasting it with theirlives of righteousness, and prayerful aspirations heavenward."(Hawthorne 2011, p.719). Thestatement shows that the people have become sinful all the way from youth to the aged. At thebegging of the short story we meet Brown who is a healthy individual, but as the storyprogresses, he changes his ways and becomes sinful (Williamson & James 1981, p.156). Brownstruggles to get back to his righteous life, but all seem to be in vain. Nathaniel Hawthorne showsthe full set of the story to have become sinful.Reality and illusionThe story is based on confusion between the holy and the evil. Most of the charactersseem to be unable to differentiate the righteous and the evil (Neary 2006, p.244). People tend tobe pretenders since they are seen to be holy, but their deeds and inner thoughts show theopposite. "Dearest heart," whispered softly and rather sad when her lips were close to the ear,"pray thee, put off your journey until sunrise, and sleep in your bed tonight. A lone woman istroubled with such dreams and such thoughts, that she is afeard of herself”(Hawthorne 2011,
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