Young Goodman Brown and Other Hawthorne Short Stories
The Influences on Young Goodman Brown and Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God
The stories of “Young Goodman Brown” and “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” encompass different aspects of religion, the perspective of vengeance, the role of clergy, and the use of allegory and direct address. The way of writing in these two stories are done very well and allowed for the stories to be expressed to the reader in a fashion that delivered every word to the forefront of the readers’ mind. These four points are quite difficult to understand due to the text being very complicated because the form of writing is a lot older than today’s use of the language. This makes the comparison of these two stories very difficult, but never the less here they are.
The religious influences on these two stories are very evident. In the story of “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” religion is the main focus of the entire story. The story reflects the idea of God throwing down the race of man, and that God only lets us stay away from the depths of hell because of only his will. One of the defining quotes in this story was “The corruption of the heart of man is immoderate and boundless in its fury; and while wicked men live here, it is like fire pent up by God’s restraint.” (Baym, 212) This quote has religious influences from different devotions of Christianity that view God as more of a force to be afraid of; although, this story amplifies this to a whole new level. The second story being “Young Goodman Brown”, is comparatively more focused on the evil doings of the devil, rather than God being almost the villain of the writing. One of the lines that really made me think about the rest of the writing was when Goodman Brown said, “What if the devil himself should be at my very elbow.” (Baym, 620) Although most would believe that this has no impact on the story, I think it actually is the main lesson and influence from religion that we know of today. The way I interpreted this was due to the fact that in common day Christianity some are taught that the devil walks among each and every person, trying to tempt us with acts of sin. This line is really the beginning of the connection between the devil and the man on the path that Goodman Brown is walking with. Between the stories of “Young Goodman Brown” and “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” the use of religious influence is done in a different way, but either way is clearly evident in the writing.
Another difference between these two stories is the perspective of revenge. One story shows how God himself can bring revenge upon man, while the other demonstrates revenge of man. In the first story of “Young Goodman Brown,” there is a historical connection of the Salem Witch Trials. This is the perfect story to represent the anger of man and their use of revenge on their fellow people. A quote that sums up the reason for revenge on behalf of man is this “The witch hunts often involved accusations based on revenge, jealousy, [and] botched child delivery.” (SparkNotes LLC, 1) The basic summary is that due to people’s anger caused their thirst of revenge to grow until they released it by accusing people of witchcraft. The difference in “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” is that man has no power of revenge, especially on God and that he is almighty. The way that Sinners uses revenge is very different from Goodman Brown by instead of showing revenge against two equal beings, he shows revenge between a higher being and its “peasants.” Now the story does later reflect how God currently restrains his anger and in thought, his vengeance. The overall difference stands clearly in the way the writers express the anger and rage of both God and man.
In conclusion, the story of Goodman Brown and “Sinners in the Hands of Angry God” express differences not only in the writing style but also the use of revenge and pent up anger to either bring torment to fellow man or to the underlings of an almighty God. The other important difference was the religious influence on these stories and how the stories defined different parts of Christianity and expressed to the extreme. The sorties in total summary encompass the overall concept of Christianity on a whole, and this is the similarity between the stories although it is very slim.
Role of Archetype in “Young Goodman Brown” Novel
Young Goodman Brown
In literature, an archetype is a typical character, an action that seems to represent such universal patterns of human nature. The universal symbol may be a character, a theme, a symbol, or even a setting. Red can represent blood, violence, passion, intensity, and anger. White can represent purity, enlightenment, wealth, and timelessness. A serpent represents independence, evil, and knowledge. In “Young Goodman Brown,” Nathaniel Hawthorne uses archetypes to convey the message that losing faith will lead to temptation.
Hawthorne utilizes a combination of the white and red archetypes to make pink, which represents passion and purity in this story as “purity appears white, as passion appears red” (Hudson). Even though everyone else in the town has turned to the devil, for Faith’s wellbeing, young Goodman Brown will stay true to God. However, during his journey through the forest, he hears voices and recognizes his wife, Faith’s voice. When Goodman Brown notices the pink ribbon in the forest, he loses his faith both literally and metaphorically. At a point when he considers whether or not he should continue, “something [flutters] lightly down through the air and [catches] on a branch of a tree. The young man [seizes] it, and [beholds] a pink ribbon. ‘My Faith is gone’ [cries] he… ‘there is no good on earth; and sin is but a name’” (Hawthorne).
Hawthorne uses the ribbon to subtly reinforce the idea that Faith is part of the satanic ritual, therefore showing that his Faith has left him. This powerful symbol leads Goodman Brown to divorce himself spiritually, emotionally, and physically from the rest of the townspeople. The ribbons Goodman Brown found in the tree, shows that he has lost his innocence and love for God. Despite the fact that he plans to return to Faith, he no longer evokes the husband or man that Faith watched go into the forest.
Hawthorne uses a serpent-like staff archetype to persuade Goodman Brown to keep moving into the woods. Goodman Brown tries to convince himself that he had made the wrong decision of walking into the demonic forest, but the devil’s staff urges him in. His gaze was “fixed upon his remarkable staff, which bore the likeness of a great black snake, so curiously wrought that it might almost be seen… as a living serpent”. When the devil tells Goodman Brown to use the staff to travel faster, Goodman Brown takes him up on the offer and, like Eve, is ultimately condemned for his weakness by losing his innocence. Besides representing Eve’s temptation, the serpent represents her curiosity which leads her into that temptation. By Young Goodman Brown losing his faith, represented by Faith’s pink ribbons, he was apt to be lead into the devil’s temptation.
Reflection on “The Birth-mark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
I find this book to have a moral lesson. Human beings seem to have an obsession in making things perfect even those that are beyond their powers. Alymer had searched for a beautiful girl to marry; he finds Georgina but she has a birthmark that Alymer doesn’t like. He goes ahead to marry her with the birthmark but it becomes a bother that he would dream removing it. Alymer, Georgina’s husband is not contented with his wife’s beauty; his major concern goes to her birthmark which is her only imperfection. Alymer thinks that if the birthmark would be removed his wife would have perfect beauty. It is unfortunate how he does not concentrate with her beauty but concentrate on the only thing that is not right with her. The author of this book brings out a theme that is real even in our normal life. People will always focus on the little imperfect things and tend to forget on many perfect things that a person has.
Initially Georgina thought she was all beautiful until she met her husband. The husband kept on pointing the birthmark which is her imperfection until he looks depressed. Georgina believes her husband and start thinking that she has a flaw that they need to do away with at whatever cost. She goes ahead to drink some potion without investigating its side effects which later costs her life. This happens to human beings as well. We are born thinking that we are the best but in the course of life people point out some flaws about us which we end up believing. Most of the times when people mention our flaws, we believe them and get influenced regardless of the circumstances. In this world where perfection is demanded, it doesn’t matter how confident a person is physically or in personalities it is the nature of people to conform for survival. Perfection is not achievable yet people keep on demanding it which eventually affects self-esteem and self-confidence we have.
This becomes worse when we get criticism from the people we love as they make us change our mindsets. Even if we thought something was okay and someone we love says otherwise we tend to believe them. Whether simple or complex, flaws are no longer seen as few steps to perfection rather as a monster that should be eliminated as fast as possible. It is more complicated when others are different from us as they get shunned. People mock them as they want them to change so that they can fit it; they cannot be accommodated as they are. We push them away and do not give them a chance to be just ‘them’. The pressure we give people by showing them how imperfect they are making them make decisions in trying to become perfect which may end up hurting them more. Beauty and ugliness are in the eyes of the beholder. The funny thing is that the ones pointing out other people’s imperfections are not perfect both externally and internally. It would be better if we would accommodate everyone with their imperfections and differences as the not doing this would not be offering any help.
In conclusion, flaws can be faulty not in terms of looks but in self-confidence and self-esteem. People can never achieve perfection which means that pressuring them to be perfect just destroys them. It would also be recommendable that we learn to embrace things that we cannot change. If someone has a physical imperfection he/she should accept it however if it is something like personality he/she can try to improve on it. Humans should embrace their flaws as well as their beauty.
Figments of a Dream: the Story of Young Goodman
The story of Young Goodman Brown seems intended to confuse the reader at first in order to allow the imagination to decide what has truly occurred in the story. It seems that initially, Nathaniel Hawthorne wants the reader to accept the story is true, however, as goodman Brown’s journey continues through the woods it becomes more and more deceiving as to whether or not it is a dream or reality. Upon reflecting on the story I believe that initially, Brown was living in reality when he was bidding farewell to his wife, however, it seems he either began to dream or a traumatic event occurred that when he fell asleep that night turned into an exaggerated version of reality. This is what caused him to believe it himself so much and inevitably turned the night’s events into an exaggerated mistrust towards those in his community. In the opening passage when goodman Brown is saying goodbye to his wife faith he alludes to the idea that he is beginning to dream when he says, “she dreams too” (Hawthorne 346). He had heard her stories of evil and this seemed to be the catalyst for his experience.
During the time the book was written, the worry and intrigue over supernatural witchcraft powers were very prominent, I accept that he was truly leaving to go view the devil which led him to witness a witch’s meeting. The commitment Brown exhibits toward venturing to flirt with the devil proves that he really was going to see what the puritan at that times were so afraid of. He justifies this deception of his wife by telling her he is simply venturing on an errand he must go on and “after this one night I will cling to her skirts and follow her to Heaven” (346). The particular passage that made me begin to realize that his story might be a figment of his imagination was when Brown entered the woods and once he turned the crook in the road he was met by the man who had traveled a seemingly impossibly quick time from Boston. Brown’s uncertain statement that he was “surprised by the sudden appearance of his companion though no wholly unexpected” (346) seemed to turn his assured confidence in his actions into unease. This was further exemplified when he explained the man’s staff was similar to a snake but was likely due to ocular deception. When his doubts set in during this section, his determination to simply go out, do the evil deed, and return to his loyal wife wavered and he becomes comforted by the cloaked companion coaxing his doubts of wrongdoing.
Even going as far as to say that his forefathers have traversed on the same path as he is now. After being obviously shaken in his faith by speaking to the elderly man who presents himself as an image of the devil, Brown decides to hold steadfast and states he will not move a further step. However, soon he sees the minister and his deacon passing along the same path he was upon. Following the relevelation that Goody Gloyse the respected woman from the village is actually a withc herself, this all leads to Brown realizing he no longer trust anyone in town for if the minister, the deacon and Cloyse are all seeking after the very evil deed Brown is so wrought up over, then everyone else must be corrupt as well. Those that he sees “Sabbath after Sabbath look devoutly heavenward” (352) are now present at this place of evil. Perhaps the most magical occurrences that made Hawthorne’s short story appear to be based on a dream is when goodman Brown shouts, “Faith! Faith! Look up to the Heaven and resist the Wicked One!” (354). He then suddenly found himself transported to the calm of the forest as if being suddenly awoken from a dream.
This incidence makes it seem as though the reason for the whole nightmare was the see how Brown would react when faced with the devil and his followers. With his final cry to Faith, Brown made clear the path he chose. This led to him to feel greatly troubled throughout his life by the hypocrisy of others. Brown’s loss of faith in God and humanity turned him into a gloomy man unable to handle the insincere deceit of those around him. Before entering the forest, he was rather innocent and had great trust in his wife and fellow citizens, but he returned from the woods a man enlightened to the likes of evil and wrongdoing.
Illustration of the Path of Redemption in Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter
“The Scarlet Letter” is a novel that has intense drama. Hesther Prynne commits adultery with Reverend Dimmesdale and Roger Chillingworth, Hester’s husband, wants to find the father of Hester’s child. Behind all that drama lies redemption. Based on the novel the path is the path to redemption is difficult, but worth it because it brings internal peace.
An example of someone who went through redemption’s hardship and gained inner peace is Hesther. Everyone in town looked down on her, “society frowned upon her sin”(80). All her friends deserted her, she was“ lonely… and without a friend on earth who dared show himself”(78). The town’s council wanted to confiscate Pearl from her, moreover Pearl was all Hesther had. With all that hardship, Hester considered dying, “I have thought of death…have wished for it, would even have prayed for it”(70). But she endured it all and things around her started getting better. The townspeople started looking up to her, “many people refused to interpret the scarlet ‘A’ by its original signification.They said that it meant ‘Able’”(158). In the beginning it was hard for Hesther, she lost all her friends, and people wanted to take away the only person she had left. But Hesther gritted her teeth and pushed through it. In the end she the townspeople respected her, and she felt was able to find internal peace through a less trouble life.
On the other hand, Reverend Dimmesdale chose to take the easy way out by not revealing that he was the father. His choice made him feel guilty to the point that he thought punishing himself would redeem him, unfortunately it did not do him any good. Dimmesdale felt the need to confess, yet he did not do it. As time went by he started feeling guilty and tried to get redeemed by his own means: flogging himself, staying up late at night, fasting, and praying. “his too earnest devotion to study, his scrupulous fulfilment of parochial duty, and, more than all, by the fasts and vigils”(116). The results of his method were not what he was hoping for, “the health of Mr. Dimmesdale began to fail”(116). He damaged himself and reaped no seeds, “ he tortured himself, but could not purify himself.”(141). Dimmesdale ends up realizing that he became a “a pollution and a lie”, because he realized that he did not get redeemed at all. Dimmesdale sought redemption, he tried to get it by his own means. In the end he did not get redeemed, and so guilty that he felt like he needed to punish himself. Punishing himself was bad for his health, and made him lose self esteem to the point where he called himself a pollution.
Not seeking redemption at all will trouble you a lot. Chillingworth did not forgive the father and wanted to get revenge. Chillingworth devoted himself to revenge, and to get his hands on the father,”Sooner or later, he must needs be mine!”(73). He went on with his revenge, and later realized what he had become, “And what am I now?…A fiend!”(169) When Chillingworth finds out who the father is, he devotes himself to following him wherever he goes and admits it to Dimmesdale “Hadst thou sought the whole earth over…there was no one place so secret…where thou couldst have escaped me.”(249). Choosing revenge over redemption turned Chillingworth into an evil being whose only goal was revenge. He lost some common sense, and would not find inner peace until he got what he wanted.
All three of those characters took different paths regarding redemption. Hesther took the path that brings redemption, and it was hard but worth it in the end. Dimmesdale chose the easy path, it troubled his health and his self esteem. Chillingworth did not seek redemption at all, and it caused him to waste his life chasing one person around.
The Handmaid’s Tale Vs the Blithedale Romance: Literary Comparison
The Blithedale Romance and The Handmaid’s Tale Comparison
Characterization serves as one of the most prevalent techniques that authors utilize in order to make their works to seem compelling and enthralling to audiences. By fashioning images of characters through their speech or actions, readers tend to perceive their personalities as believable and life-like, thus motivating them to continue reading. While Margaret Atwood in the novel The Handmaid’s Tale and Nathaniel Hawthorne in The Blithedale Romance both characterize their protagonists with reserved personalities, their reasoning behind this choice varies. Atwood’s portrayal serves to depict Offred’s true, rebellious nature; by contrast, Hawthorne attempts to capture Coverdale’s desire for individuality.
Throughout their novels The Handmaid’s Tale and The Blithedale Romance, both Atwood and Hawthorne seldom portray the emotions of their protagonists, Offred and Coverdale respectively, in order to contribute to the depiction of their private, introverted nature. In regards to Offred, the author demonstrates that the protagonist frequently internalizes any emotions of her past or present. When training for the handmaid position, many of the handmaids, such as Janine, readily communicated the emotional happenings of their past; yet the protagonist never conveys a single detail about her traumatic escape attempt or the loss of her family. Additionally, Offred never openly expresses her hope of escaping from Gilead and reuniting with the loved ones of her past; unlike the other handmaids, such as Moira and Ofglen who often converse on this topic. Unbeknownst to those around her, Offred embodies a strong sense of hope that one day she will receive a spontaneous message from her husband Luke,
“Any day now there may be a message from him. It will come in the most unexpected way, from the least likely person, someone I never would have suspected… The message will say that I must have patience: sooner or later he will get me out, we will find her, wherever they’ve put her. She’ll remember us and we will be all three of us together (Atwood 106).
Similar to Offred, Hawthorne’s protagonist Coverdale embodies a shy, detached personality in an attempt to conceal his true emotions from others. Throughout the entire novel, Coverdale never reveals his love for his fellow Blithedale member Priscilla, indicating that he seems uncomfortable with the idea of sharing personal sentiments with other individuals. Not only do the characters remain unaware of the protagonist’s genuine feelings, the readers stay uniformed until the final sentences of the book as Coverdale reflects on his time after Blithedale and confesses his secret, “The reader, therefore, since I have disclosed so much, is entitled to this one word more. As I write it, he will charitably suppose me to blush, and turn away my face:— I—I myself—was in love—with—PRISCILLA!” (Hawthorne). Coverdale’s confession serves as justification for the peculiar actions he performs throughout the novel while trying to conceal his feelings from others. Overall, authors Atwood and Hawthorne demonstrate the introverted personalities of their protagonists Offred and Coverdale by refraining from displaying their true emotions throughout the novel.
Nevertheless, Margaret Atwood portrays the protagonist of her novel The Handmaid’s Tale as a reserved character in an effort to disguise Offred’s rebellious nature from everyone except the readers. By keeping all of her insubordinate thoughts to herself, the protagonist demonstrates the impression of an obedient citizen of Gilead. For instance, when Ofglen and Offred engage in their forbidden conversation about the presence of God, Ofglen seems stunned that the protagonist responds to her illegal statement, “’I thought you were a true believer,’ Ofglen says… ‘You were always so stinking pious” (169). In actuality, Offred’s thoughts prove her defiant personality as she always dwells on her past, which directly violates the rules of the socieety. During her training, the aunts preached that reminiscing about the past went against the laws of Gilead since their current lives should only circle around one task: repopulation. Unbeknownst to those around her, Offred frequently breaks this rule whenever she finds a quiet moment to think or reflect such as during her bath before the Ceremony. The protagonist recalls the horrifying moment of the foiling of her family’s escape attempt and how the enemy drags her daughter away right in front of her,
“She’s too young, it’s too late, we come apart, my arms are held, and the edges go dark and nothing is left but a little window, … I can see, small but very clear, I can see her, going away from me, through the trees which are already turning, red and yellow, holding out her arms to me, being carried away” (75).
Instead of focusing on her responsibilities during the Ceremony, Offred contravenes the rules by concentrating on various moments of her life before Gilead. Moreover, when Serena Joy grants Offred permission to enjoy a cigarette and possess a match, rather than enjoy the cigarette, the protagonist contemplates how the match could aid her in an escape attempt from the house and possibly Gilead itself, “I don’t need to smoke this cigarette. … I could burn the house down. Such a fine thought…” (209). All in all, Atwood purposely depicts Offred with a quiet, reserved personality in order to only exhibit her insubordinate nature to the readers through her thoughts.
On the other hand, within the novel The Blithedale Romance, Nathaniel Hawthorne depicts his protagonist with a detached personality in an attempt to express Coverdale’s desire for individuality. In a typical day at Blithedale, inhabitants spend a majority of the time with their assigned group; the men work outside while the women labor inside. Sleeping seems like the only time that the people of the community ever receive any true alone time. Yet, every once in a while, members can take a day off for some much needed relaxation. When given the opportunity, Coverdale prefers to spend his time off the beaten path, just to ensure that no one interrupts his peace and quiet,
“Not long after the preceding incident, in order to get the ache of too constant labor out of my bones, and to relieve my spirit of the irksomeness of a settled routine, I took a holiday. It was my purpose to spend it, all alone, from breakfast-time till twilight, in the deepest wood-seclusion that lay anywhere around us… Unless renewed by a yet farther withdrawal towards the inner circle of self-communion, I lost the better part of my individuality” (Hawthorne).
The private nature of Coverdale contributes to his longing for individuality as he does not typically spend such an extended amount of time with other people. Furthermore, the protagonist embodies such a strong sense of distinctiveness that he emanates the impression that he holds little interest in Blithedale and its values. The community promotes a sense of closeness to its inhabitants. Throughout the novel, most of the residents spend time with the social circles they form as seen with Hollingsworth, Zenobia, and Priscilla. Conversely, Coverdale enjoys spending time without the company of others in order to engage in his old world habits of writing poetry,
“It was an admirable place to make verses, tuning the rhythm to the breezy symphony that so often stirred among the vine-leaves; or to meditate an essay for the Dial, in which the many tongues of Nature whispered mysteries, and seemed to ask only a little stronger puff of wind, to speak out the solution of its riddle. Being so pervious to air-currents, it was just the nook, too, for the enjoyment of a cigar. This hermitage was my one exclusive possession, while I counted myself a brother of the socialists” (Hawthorne).
Giving up old world possessions stands as one of founding principles of Blithedale in order to create a firm sense of community. These old habits promote selfishness and as Coverdale participates in them it endorses the idea that he still feels strong attachments to the old life and not Blithedale. In the end, in order to convey Coverdale’s gravitation towards individuality, Hawthorne characterizes him with a fervently private disposition.
Overall, in the novels The Handmaid’s Tale and The Blithedale Romance, Atwood and Hawthorne choose to portray their protagonists with an introverted and private personality. Yet, the reasoning behind this choice serves entirely different purposes in the characterization of Offred and Coverdale. Atwood utilizes a quiet nature for Offred in order to conceal her actual recalcitrant feelings towards Gilead and reveal them to only the readers. On the other hand, Hawthorne applies the personality to Coverdale in an attempt to depict his gravitation towards individuality and his weak interest in the community of Blithedale.
Analysis of “My Kinsman, Major Molineux” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The work was written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “My Kinsman, Major Molineux”, is a short story that follows a young man named Robin during an earlier date. This man came to Boston via a ferry in order to search for his kinsman named Major Molineux, who is an official in the British Colonial government. This story has a fairly optimistic tone to it, showing the reader a good attitude so far.
During the time period that the story is set in, there were many different people with titles to them; kinsman being an example. Since this is true, the story is very well related to its setting; however, the time period that it was written in was almost one hundred years after the set time period. Since this is true, many of the readers of “My Kinsman, Major Molineux” believe that the relation to the time period and the story isn’t quite in correlation. However, the time period its set in does relate well to the content of the story.
At the beginning of the story, the author starts off by giving the readers a little bit of history in order to bring them into the loop of the story. Mentioning that the British governors were very unpopular in Massachusetts. There were also many governors who had this job with very bad experiences while in office. He then tells how Robin is searching for his Major, but no one seems to want to tell him where to find this man.
Soon, Robin approaches a rich man, causing a violent encounter with him, but just wanting to find out some information about where to find the Major. The searching continues, though he has little luck in finding his friend the Major Molineux. The different events that occur for Robin tend to lead towards something other of the ordinary. He meets many different people with unique stories and weird things occur, making it sound somewhat like a dream.
Though the short story was written during the 1800’s, it was based during the 1700’s, making the story a little confusing when looking at the time period and its relation to the story. However, the author did a great job at relating the story to a hundred years before he was writing, not even have lived during that time and being able to know what went on. He gave great historical information about the time period beforehand, making the time period correlate well with its set time period.
The Birthmark Vs. Rappaccini’s Daughter
Crews (1996) depicted that, legitimate people and spots are constantly employed by Hawthorne in his modest accounts for introduction of his conceptual settings and characters. The reality being is that Hawthorne read a mind boggling plan especially in history and was astoundingly interested by diaries, yet only for characters and settings that would be particularly critical to him and might of use to him in one of his short stories or books. Fetterly (1976) argued that Hawthorne adored some minor existing or dynamic figures from the long past and usually the neglected ones, like the show-stoppers and in the firearm of western literature through the ages and there is progressively that a suggestion that these stories and also characters gave him breathtaking license to draw upon for his own specific stories.
Society is continually unveiling to us that we are adequately awful. It is hard to go wherever without seeing an advancement offering something that would enhance you a man, paying little mind to whether it be makeup to enhance you look or a drink that supports you get fit as a fiddle. With most of this strain to twist up a more ideal variation of yourself, it is definitely not hard to reject what genuinely matters. In the nostalgic stories The Birthmark and Rappaccini’s Daughter, Hawthorne explores the dangers of attempting to make a flawless human endeavoring to diagram that our blemishes don’t make us horrendous, they make us human (Fetterly, 1976).
The review of female characters in “Rappaccini’s Daughter” and “The Birthmark” written by Hawthorne, are dependably filled in as flawlessness’ paragon, excellence and ease just to be virgin toward the complete of each story, completely destroyed (Crew, 1996). Abnormally, while this may at first look emits an impression of being an inevitable subject of misogyny, this isn’t generally the case since the vanishing of the two central female characters, Beatrice and George, worked out as expected because of intelligent impedance of men. It is depicted by Foglie (1964) that in beginning of the Hawthorne’s two stories, the two women are displayed as identical to physical excellence, and unadulterated soul. Practically nothing, in any case, before his terrible flaws are revealed; poisonous closeness and a little skin pigmentation and beginning there, the vanishing of these women and separating, beside its magnificence experiences the exercises of male characters that are hunting down their inspirations, that general achievement intelligent or love, or some unusual mix of both (Foglie, 1964). By the day’s end, Hawthorne is in every way the presentation of an idea in regards to intelligent research, especially as for womanly perfection.
Stewart (1932) argued that, in time of Hawthorne, science was never same as that of the present material science or science; generally, was just similar to theoretical science, having extraordinary ties. Researchers of this time endeavored to comprehend the privileged insights of nature and in addition to pro and immaculate them. In “The Birthmark” Aylmer was the analyst while in “Rappaccini’s Daughter”, Dr. Rappaccini was the researcher. These two people test the women that they esteem that are in their families, for Aylmer his better half and for Rappaccini his daughter. Both endeavor to consummate something or make something over the human condition. In both, the researchers finally crash and burn. Both Georgianna and Beatrice pass on due to the experimentation done on them (Stewart, 1932). In my clarification, I trust Hawthorne is creating a dispute against the assumption science can pass on to its supporters. There is in like manner a sentiment of nature, the human condition, and the way things should be truly are.
Fetterly (1976) argued that, Georgiana, as delineated in The Birthmark, is portrayed as about impeccable from the land a Nature, her solitary recognizable normal for common blemish being a skin pigmentation on her cheek. As indicated by Aylmer, this one “distortion” on her significant other, drives him to form a blend that would remove the stamp from Georgina’s cheek. In the event that he by one means or another happened to succeed, he would have made something generally inhuman this implies an ideal human which actually isn’t conceivable. Aylmer is attempting to make something prevalent than a human. Georgina is decreased from a human and companion to on challenge be culminated, unmistakably Aylmer ponders her looks than he does about her (Crew, 1996). His need to idealize her at last prompts her passing; exactly when she is gone does he comprehend what he has done. He discards the pleasure which would have woven his mortal presence of the proportionate surface with the brilliant presence. By endeavoring to consummate his significant other, he surrendered the seasons of joy him and her could have had in case he ignored her minor physical defect and saw her for the brilliant women which really she is (Waggoner, 1955).
Rappaccini’s Daughter is another formation of Hawthorne which in like manner turns around man endeavoring to make a human better than anything nature has (Waggoner, 1955). Exactly when authority young lady Beatrice of Rappaccini was imagined, he used a plant from his garden to both make her magnificent, yet moreover filled her veins with hurt. Her breath butchers bugs and blooms, and it polluted Giovanni, her sweetheart, with a comparable poison that experiences her veins. As Smith school’s Dr. Millington watches, the claim specific dad of Beatrice completed her as a human being and decreases her to the subject of a preliminary. It ends up obvious that Beatrice is seen by her father as an opportunity to culminate nature rather than as his daughter, a human being with suppositions and emotions (Foglie, 1964). While it is her sweetheart Giovanni who is clearly accountable for her downfall by offering her a cure that would the extent that anybody knows fix the two, the blame for her passing can simply fall on her father’s shoulders, for he was the one that hurt her. As opposed to seeing his daughter as a young lady and a comment worshiped he considered her to be an issue of experimentation (Crew, 1996). Before long, the objective was to idealize something that has no significant ending.
Basic stories took after a similar topic where men endeavor to culminate typically made women, and the two cases incite the death of ladies. The obsession of defect relating Georgina by Aylmer and the obsession of science by Rappaccini on his little girl influence the two men to expel what is to a great degree crucial. Fetterly (1978) contends that, if Aylmer and Rappaccini had been content with the mortality of the relationships, by then they all would have lived fundamentally more blissful lives. In any case, the allurements of making something more than human were exorbitantly exceptional. Aylmer went so far as to convince his loved one that her skin pigmentation was a stunning deformation, and that it is more quick witted to be dead than to allow it to remain on her cheek, compared to Beatrice at last took a risk with her life to switch her father’s preliminary, and it completed her life (Fetterly, 1978). While both have a to some degree exceptional conclusion, the essential message proceeds as previously. We were made the way we are for a reason and trying to make the ideal human achieves more devilishness than incredible.
Regardless of the way that the two stories were made in the eighteenth century, the essential message in each outstanding part reliable with the cutting edge days and time of 21st Century (Stewart, 1932). In our overall population we are constantly bombarded by advancements that undertaking to enhance us look, wind up more grounded, get more fit, or whatever other change that you can consider. We are every day told that our personality isn’t adequate, possibly we in general need to see the imaginative thoughts of Hawthorne that nature made us human for fundamental motivations to possess our blemishes and all the more noticeably it’s essentially the defects which made us as human.
The Symbolic Significance of Faith’s Pink Ribbons
The Symbolism of Faith’s Pink Ribbons
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown,” Faith’s pink ribbons represent her purity and Goodman Brown’s changing feelings for her, ultimately leading the reader to challenge the veracity of Goodman Brown’s claims. Faith’s pink ribbons symbolic significance change throughout the short story.
Archetypally, pink represents naivete, youthfulness, sweetness, and purity. Faith embodies all of these characteristics. Ergo, it only makes sense that her pink ribbons are symbolic of Faith’s purity and later, Goodman Brown’s changing feelings for her. Prior to engaging with her husband, Faith’s pink ribbons are mentioned for the first time. She let the “the wind play with her pink ribbons of her cap” while her downtrodden husband bid his “young wife” ado by exchanging a “parting kiss” (page 1). The ribbons are again mentioned (albeit in superficial manner) only a few short sentences later. Faith is giddy with faith in her husband, saying “God Bless you” and “May you find well when you come back” (page 1). It’s a few paragraphs later when the aforementioned pink ribbons, which also serve as a motif, gains a symbolic meaning. When the two part for good, Hawthorne says: “The young man pursued his way, until, being about to turn the corner by the meeting-house, he looked back and saw the head of Faith still peeping after him, with a melancholy air, in spite of her pink ribbons” (page 1). Soon thereafter, Goodman Brown exclaims “Poor little Faith! What a wretch am I…” (page 1). Not only does this illuminate who Goodman Brown is (a miserable, negative wretch); it also represents unconditional love for her husband, her childlike nature, and her extremely different personality from her husband (she peeps at him like a child; he drowns himself in a pool of depression and pity). Even in the end, when Goodman Brown is tempted by the Devil in an Adam and Eve-like story, she remains pure, her ribbons remain prevalent.
Faith’s character remains unchanged throughout the story, but the significance of her ribbons take on a new meaning. At the start of the short story, we know that Goodman Brown holds his wife in a high esteem, even chastising himself for being unfair to her. As the story progresses, it’s clear that his opinion of his wife is changing. Hawthorne brings the ribbons back into the story in the forest when Goodman Brown is confronted by the devil. One of Faith’s ribbons falls to the ground and Goodman Brown perceives it not only as Faith’s loss of innocence and purity, but her succumbing to the devil. “’My Faith is gone!” Goodman Brown exclaimed, “’There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name. Come, devil! for to thee is this world given’” (page 2). Faith’s ribbon, which previously represented good things, now represents bad things and makes Goodman Brown think that she’s lost her purity and innocence. As a result of this he changes his opinion of her. Essentially, he now views her in a more negative light than before, suggesting that Goodman Brown’s arduous journey and foray with the devil has had a profound effect on him and his view of Faith and ultimately, her ribbons. Faith’s ribbons take on a new meaning again when Goodman Brown returns from his journey. On his way home, Goodman Brown spots Faith acting as she did at the start of the story: giddy with happiness and skipping “along the street” towards him. Hawthorne says: “He spied the head of Faith, with the pink ribbons” (page 2). Not only does this cast doubt as to the veracity of Goodman Brown’s story (Hawthorne even mentions that it made me a story made up by Goodman Brown, saying “Had Goodman Brown fallen asleep in the forest, and only dreamed a wild dream of a witch-meeting?), it also returns the meaning of Faith’s pink ribbons to their original meaning. That is, Faith represents naivete, youthfulness, sweetness, and purity.
In effect, the symbolic significance of Faith’s pink ribbons change depending on the section of the short story. In one section it represents the characteristics of Faith; in others it represents Goodman Brown’s changing feelings for her. In correlation with the two aforementioned aspects of the theme, it also represents a challenge to the veracity of Goodman Brown’s claims. Really though, the narrative cohesiveness of Hawthorne’s short story rests on Faith’s pink ribbons. Without those, we wouldn’t have nearly the same amount of mystery and intrigue that the story now has.
A Significant Theme in Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Great Eye Opening
So many themes are packed into Nathanial Hawthorne’s short story, “Young Goodman Brown” that it’s nearly impossible to touch on just one, without integrating another. Because there is so much depth and feeling radiating from Hawthorne’s writing, a reader can get easily confused. I know I myself had to read it multiple times before I could sort things out. One thing that I grasped right away though, was the fact that his main character, Young Goodman Brown, had a real life meeting with the devil himself.
After meeting a strange traveler not far into the forest, the story takes an odd turn. As the strange man is described, he is portrayed as stunningly similar to Brown. Being “apparently the same rank of life as Goodman Brown, and bearing a considerable resemblance to him, though perhaps more in expression than features” gives the hint that the man is perhaps just an older reflection. I’ve always been taught that the devil reflects in appearance what we fear or what we don’t like about ourselves. While the story is written with the intention of fiction, I think what the character experienced was real to him. After reading the entire story more than five times, I’m stuck with the fact that before meeting the devil, Brown was in a fog. Brain washed by the elders of the town, he was lead to believe that all was good.
As he continued on with the devil through the woods, he sees many of the town folk following and seemingly convening in the forest with purpose. When they come upon the old woman Goody Cloyse, she acts as if she’s seen Brown’s companion many of times. “The Devil!” she screeched when she saw him. Although at first glance it seemed like she was afraid, he replied to her, “Then Goody Cloyse knows her old friend?” After going on to complain about the walk, she takes the serpant-like walking stick that is offered to her and vanishing. In the other people they came across, I think it was the devils way of showing Goodman Brown the other side of the people he lived and worshipped among.
This story makes so much sense and I think that the forest experience was actually real. In the times when our country was young, there was many a soul ripe for the picking. Because the new world offered freedom of religion, people became more lax than they ever were. Easier swayed they were because all of the towns had different ways of worship, some being less strict than ever before. The devil was able to weave himself into their lives and show them the power he offered. It’s a stretch to think that maybe, he was the reason so many came to the new world. There is a reason for all happenings that sparked the great migration to the Americas. When religious oppression became so bad against the Puritans and other religions, they realized they needed a way out. Maybe the devil was luring them to the wild, uncharted land to weasel himself into their lives.
Upon returning home from his night in the forest, Young Goodman Brown discovers that all of his faith has been lost. Because of his night in the forest, he was brought into the light. No longer was the world full of God, but full of the devil. “Oh the Sabbath day, when the congregation were singing a holy psalm, he could not listen because an anthem of sin rushed loudly upon his ear and drowned all the blessed strain.” Ironically, his poor wife’s name, Faith, is the one thing he can no longer cling to and he would often “awaken suddenly at midnight and shrink from her bossom…”
When looking at all of the evidence presented in short story, you can easily come to the conclusion that the experience is real. From the many people they meet along the way, to the devil morphing himself into an older version of Young Goodman Brown himself, the evil that morphed its way into the pages of this book is really astounding.