Sunday, September 7, 2008

Young Goodman Brown

When reading Young Goodman Brown i was overwhelmed with the way Hawthorne attempted to make the main character seem like an "average man". At the beginning of the short story you read how the Main character is suffering from normal emotions. These humanistic emotions expressed, related to me of his obvious indecisiveness on going. But like any normal human, curiosity can become an overwhelming factor in deciding. Although curiosity initiated the journey, throughout the rest of the story i am not completely sure that curiosity is what drives Young Goodman Brown to stay on the "beaten path". However, Goodman Brown's curiosity isn't what i found most intriguing about the story. The parallel i thought was rather interesting was something not found directly in the story.

During my young academic career i stumbled upon information about Nathaniel Hawthorne that at the time i felt would not serve me any purpose. But i was wrong. Upon reading the short story Young Goodman Brown, i couldn't help but connect how he used what we in the class decided was a normal man found in numerous small towns throughout the country.

If i remember correctly, Nathaniel Hawthorne was frequently plagued by the fact that is grandfather was a part of the Salem witch trials. With constant ridicule from his peers over an issue that he had nothing to do with, it seemed to me that he created this short fiction story to convey a profound message to the educated populace. With the help from discussion in class i feel i was able to put together a solid base for my thought. The notion that the last name Brown is one of the commonest names in the United States add to the idea that he was indirectly trying to convey to the people reading it that his grandfather, was not a bad man, just got mixed up with the majority of the town that was doing in hindsight an evil ceremony. At the beginning of the story Hawthorne descriptively describes a young man who is suffering from leaving his new wife, or follow his town folk. I feel the intentions of this was to establish a subtle level of sympathy between the reader and Young Goodman Brown, by expressing how hard it truly was for him to leave his "Faith".

When understanding that Nathaniel Hawthorne had to deal with people from his town holding him accountable for actions commited by his grandfather, he decided to use his intellectual ability to convey a subtle, but intense message to people. The message i got from this story was how an average, religious, family man could be drew astray from what he believes in.

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