Young Goodman Brown

Young Goodman Brown - Angle 1 Angle, Patrick Mrs. Calton...

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Angle 1 Angle, Patrick Mrs. Calton English 101 November 7, 2007 A Comparison of Critical Interpretations on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” With every type of fiction that is published, it is released into the general public with a certain objective, a certain purpose known only to the author. Once it is released however, it is left to critical academic writers to find and discover the true meanings and symbolic references located within the text. Young Goodman Brown is a very good example, where one can withdraw many different conclusions from the text and be able to argue it clearly. Michael Tritt’s “’Young Goodman Brown’ and the Psychology of Projection” and Paul J. Hurley’s “Young Goodman Brown’s ‘Heart of Darkness’” are both critical articles which both argue of Goodman Brown’s evil nature and on the truths of his nightmarish dream or realistic episode. Tritt’s article focuses more on Goodman Brown’s realization that “all men are corrupt and inevitably evil” (Tritt 114). He believes that through the night dream, Young Brown discovered his own evil heart and felt convicted of his sins, thus directing his guilt to others. Tritt looks at Brown’s problems as a self-inflicted suffering, for when Brown returned from his nightmare, or journey into the subconscious, his experience “depicted his own evil” (Tritt 114). Hurley however, focuses more on the fact that Goodman was merely dreaming as a fictional character, and that the horrific picture presented by the dream is truly just a dream, for if
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Angle 2 “the dealing of man’s nature and the human heart are not ‘beyond the limits of fiction’”(Hurley 411), declaring that if all of the townspeople were really devil worshippers, then “ Hawthorne created a fearful indictment of humanity”(Hurley 411). In Hurley’s argument, he gives much of his attention to Faith, the wife of young Goodman Brown. He looks to the fact that Faith is left behind by Brown on his “mission” into the woods. “Poor little Faith!” Thought he, for his heart smote him. “What a wretch am I to leave her on such an errand! She talks of dreams, too. Me-thought as she spoke there was trouble in her face, as if a dream ad warned her what work is to be done to-night. But no, no; ‘twould kill her to think it. Well, she’s a blessed angel on earth; and after this one night I’ll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven(Hurley 412). Hurley assumes that Goodman Brown was still unsure of his future actions and that he would be coming back shortly from his “departure from Faith”(Hurley 412). Hurley points out that Goodman Brown’s decision to go on the trip denies all credibility to his innocent intentions, as he is troubled by his decision and knows that he is doing wrong, as he says it would “kill her” if she knew the purpose of his trip(Hurley 412). Hurley describes Goodman Brown’s first mistake
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This note was uploaded on 03/30/2008 for the course ENG 101 taught by Professor Cornett during the Spring '08 term at N.C. State.

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Young Goodman Brown - Angle 1 Angle, Patrick Mrs. Calton...

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