Module 10 Notes & Comments Fall 2016 - 2327 Module 10 Notes...

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2327 Module 10 Notes & Comments (Suggested Videos listed at end.) “Depending upon one another’s hearts, ye had still hoped, that virtue were not all a dream. Now are ye undeceived! Evil is the nature of mankind. Evil must be your only happiness. Welcome, again, my children, to the communion of your race!” The dark figure at the Black Mass in “Young Goodman Brown”If you research “Young Goodman Brown,” two words that you will come across most often are “allegory” and “ambiguous.” According to Leo Levy in “The Problem of Faith in ‘YoungGoodman Brown’,” this story is “a dream vision, a conventional allegory, and finally an inquiry into the problem of faith that undermines the assumptions upon which the allegory is based.” Asa conventional allegory, we can assign characters and plot lines to external “real world” people and situations. Brown represents everyman. He is just a regular “good man.” Faith is, of course, Brown’s own faith, hisdedication to God and Puritan principles. His journey into the woods is a journey into a Godless wilderness. Ultimately, he is headed for the Black Mass, which with its flames and demonic images, can be seen as Hell. The story is intentionally ambiguous, lending itself to many meanings. The conflict is within Brown; he struggles over his self-doubts, caused by his knowledge of Original Sin, and whether he is capable of resisting personal sin. He is caught between knowing that his is a corrupt soul (as all are) and the hope held by a "true believer." In the beginning of the story, it is clear that Brown has made some sort of agreement with the Devil, but it is yet to be seen whether he will consummate the deal in the black service in the woods. In the end, Brown seems to have broken free of the Devil's powers and shown that there may be hope for salvation, for himself, and for his wife, Faith. What can be said of the final paragraph, the summation provided by the narrator?
What effect will that have on a man living in a community of "believers?" In the end, has Brown won or lost?

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