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Midterm Essay - literature of confinement

Midterm Essay - literature of confinement - Joshua Huver 29...

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Joshua Huver 29 February, 2008 W. Johns ENG 1120 ENG 1120 Midterm, Pt III In this class we have read many short stories by many people with different ideas, backgrounds, and points of view. Despite the large gap of timeframe we’ve studied (1835 – 1919) a very common motif can be found in most of the stories. Of these motifs, most found among the stories is the idea of Literature of Confinement. From the early Puritan themes and ideas of Nathaniel Hawthorne in “Young Goodman Brown” in the early 1800’s, to the modernistic points of view and ideas of Charlotte Perkins Gilman in her short story “The Yellow Wallpaper” written near the end of the 19 th century. Each story offers specific points of views and different instances of confinement in literature, including examples of external and internal confinement. In “Young Goodman Brown,” Hawthorne uses history and Literature of Confinement, specifically internal, to characterize the paranoia and fear of uncommon differences among people of early Puritan towns. Throughout the story, Hawthorne describes a young newlywed man who ventures out into the woods to accompany a strange man on a strange journey. Never does Hawthorne explain what exactly Young Goodman Brown actually thinks he is doing; the reader is unfortunately oblivious to the plans that he has made or what he thinks he is getting into. This makes it very difficult to
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assess Young Goodman Brown’s actions throughout his journey and encounters with familiar religious people throughout Salem whilst in the woods.
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