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English 101 Young Goodman Paper - Essay Example

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Nathaniel Hawthorne structures his short story Young Goodman Brown into three distinct parts each of which is vital to the thematic issues in the plot. The first part of the story presents a jovial and sociable Goodman Brown. The section of the story shows a seamless integration…
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English 101 Young Goodman Paper Nathaniel Hawthorne structures his short story Young Goodman Brown into three distinct parts each of which is vital to the thematic issues in the plot. The first part of the story presents a jovial and sociable Goodman Brown. The section of the story shows a seamless integration of Brown and his family in the society. The next part of the story is a dreamlike sequence that takes place in the forest. Brown takes an expedition in the forest for an unknown task. He experienced despicable features of both the society and himself in the forest that change his view on humanity. The third section of the story is once again back in the society. Brown is a changed individual owing to his experience in the forest. He is sad, stern and distrustful. The change in his attitude arises from his loss of faith in humanity as the discussion below portrays.
The story is one of self-scrutiny and self-determination. At first, Goodman Brown is a normal member of the society who shares the Puritan beliefs. However, the nigh experience in the forest is symbolic to Christianity’s self-exploration. In the dream like setting, Brown acquires a new view of both himself and his society. Unfortunately, his experiences and understanding of humanity in the forest is troubling. Additionally, the trip into the forest precedes Brown’s three months of marriage a duration within which he had begun doubting some of the basic features of life and faith in his society.
At the end of the forest experience, Young Goodman Brown loses faith in a number of social features including salvation, human goodness, faith, salvation and his wife all of which are fundamental features that contributes to the development of a peaceful and cohesive society, like the one he lived in prior to his trip in the forest. In the forest, Brown witnessed most of the town’s people including his wife exhibit peculiar traits such as those exhibited by witches. The experience affects his psychological stability. He becomes withdrawn and refuses to greet his wife immediately he returns to the town in the morning. Losing faith in his wife was among the most basic portrayal of his loss of faith and disbelief in the basic social institutions. He begins interacting with people in the society as though strangers (Hawthorne 7).
Young Goodman Brown becomes distrustful, stern and sad because he loses faith in humans owing to the experiences if acquired while in the forest. He loses faith in humanity owing to the high level of hypocrisy he sees. This portrays the fall of man and the ineffectiveness of faith and religion in shaping human behavior. While in the forest, the devil opens Brown’s eyes thereby enabling him to see the wickedness and hypocrisy in humans. Unfortunately, Brown believed in the goodness of those around him including his wife. He therefore lived a god life prior to visiting the forest because he believed everyone else was good too. The exposure he obtains in the forest changes his faith. He loses his faith and love for those he once loved including his wife.
Work cited
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. Young Goodman Brown. S.l.: Start Publishing LLC, 2012. Internet resource. Read More
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