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"Young Goodman Brown". Nathaniel Hawthorne. Nathaniel Hawthorne. Born 1804 in Salem, Mass. At age four, Nathaniel had to go live with his mother's brothers, after his father, a ship's captain, died during a voyage

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young goodman brown

"Young Goodman Brown"

Nathaniel Hawthorne

nathaniel hawthorne
Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Born 1804 in Salem, Mass.
  • At age four, Nathaniel had to go live with his mother's brothers, after his father, a ship's captain, died during a voyage
  • His family had deep roots in Salem, dating back to Puritan ancestors in the 1600s, linked to judge of Salem witch trials
  • After learning of witch trial participation, he added the “w” in his last name
  • After attending Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, Hawthorne returned to Salem, where he spent a dozen years reading and developing his skills as a fiction writer until his death in 1864
hawthorne cont d
Hawthorne cont’d
  • One of most well known and frequently read short stories is “Young Goodman Brown”(1835)- historical allegory
  • Lots of elements within the story are typical Hawthorne, such as the superstitious, Romantic elements and the Puritanical setting
puritanical beliefs
Puritanical beliefs
  • Members of a Protestant group in England and New England in the 1600s and 1700s who opposed the Church of England
  • God’s elect- If not a part, then condemned to hell
  • Strict moral code caused them to see evil where didn’t necessarily exist; sought to eliminate satanic influence
  • Story true to Salem atmosphere at time of witch trials
puritanical beliefs the forest
Puritanical Beliefs- The Forest
  • Puritans viewed forest as Devil’s Domain
  • Native American dwelling grounds
  • Literal and symbolic place of habitat for Devil in story
  • A trip in the middle of the night would be considered a questionable act
and the story begins
And the story begins…
  • Young Goodman Brown
  • His wife, Faith
  • Significance of their names
    • Associated Colors
    • Indications
  • Young Goodman Brown goes on late night trip
the forest
The Forest
  • Faith pleads with her husband to reconsider his journey
  • “Dost thou doubt me already?”
  • Blesses him, hopes he finds all well when returns
  • “He had taken a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest, which barely stood aside to let the narrow path creep through…”
  • Often a place associated with danger, obscurity, solitude, confusion, the unknown, evil, sin, and death
  • Nothing good occurs in the middle of the night in the forest
meeting with the devil
Meeting with the Devil
  • Passes a crook in the road
  • Beholds “the figure of a man, in grave and decent attire, seated at the foot of an old tree”
  • “You are late”
  • “Faith kept me back a while”
meeting with the devil1
Meeting with the Devil
  • Begin journeying into the deepest part of the forest
  • YGB bears “considerable resemblance to [him]” in expression; might’ve been taken for father and son
  • Older man- “indescribable air of one who knew the world”
  • Fiend invites YGB to travel farther into the woods, telling him of his general acquaintance with people of the town
  • “We are a people of prayer, and good works to boot, and abide no such wickedness”
meeting with the devil2
Meeting with the Devil
  • YGB addresses Devil as his friend
  • Tells him he wants to travel no further
  • Devil lets YGB know that many have “drunk the communion wine” with him, along with his well-acquaintance with Brown’s father and grandfather
  • Brown is astonished; still clings to Faith
  • Fiend offers staff to YGB, lest he become weary on his journey
  • See another figure in the distance…
goody cloyse
Goody Cloyse
  • Meaning of name
  • Catechism teacher
  • Moral and spiritual adviser
  • YGB is surprised to see her in the forest
  • Well-acquainted with the “old friend,” who touches her with his serpent-like staff
the devil and his remarkable staff
The Devil and his Remarkable Staff
  • “Bore likeness of a great black snake, so curiously wrought that it might almost be seen to twist and wriggle itself like a living serpent…assisted be the uncertain light”
  • “He threw it down at her Feet, where, perhaps, it assumed life, being one of the rods which its owner had formerly lent to the Egyptian magi”
  • Biblical Allusions
  • Genesis 3
  • Exodus 7:8-12
eden vs forest
Eden vs. Forest
  • Adam
  • Curious about forbidden knowledge
  • Encounter serpent
  • Enticed by a tree
  • Suffer great fall from innocence
  • Young Goodman Brown
  • Curious about forbidden knowledge
  • Meets with Devil
  • Enticed by a forest
  • Suffer great fall from innocence
other encounters
Other Encounters
  • The Minister and Deacon Gookin also spotted in the forest
  • YGB hears the men say, “There is a goodly young woman to be taken into communion”
  • YBG beholds diverse crowd baptized into perverse devil worship and commune with the enemy
  • “Evil is the nature of mankind. Evil must be your only happiness. Welcome again, my children, to the communion of your race”
the journey continues
The Journey Continues
  • "My Faith is gone!" cried he, after one stupefied moment.”
  • Faith, like Eve (desiring forbidden knowledge), loses her innocence after attending baptism
  • "There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name. Come, devil; for to thee is this world given.“
  • At this point, YGB loses his Faith
communing with evil
Communing with Evil
  • At the last moment before his and his wife's baptism into the evil society gathered in the forest, Brown urges his wife: "Look up to Heaven, and resist the Wicked One."
  • “Resist the Devil and he will flee from you”
  • Did not know if Faith obeyed YGB or not
  • Awakes in peaceful solitude, sees pious men and Faith carry out normal activities
  • But the damage is done, and he becomes "a stern, a sad, a darkly meditative, a distrustful, if not a desperate man" 
final days
Final Days
  • “And when he had lived long, and was borne to his grave a hoary corpse, followed by Faith, an aged woman, and children and grandchildren, a goodly procession, besides neighbors not a few, they carved no hopeful verse upon his tombstone, for his dying hour was gloom.”
questions left to answer
Questions Left to Answer
  • What is the cause of Goodman’s entering into the forest?
  • Is this a dream or reality?
  • If this were a dream, what effect does this have on Goodman Brown?
  • Everything is not always as it seems.
    • Evil can taint those who seem upright.
  • That which appears to be good may, indeed, be evil.
    • Humans tend to prejudge others based on insufficient evidences and biased preconceptions.