Nathaniel Hawthornes Storyline Young Goodman Brown English Literature Essay

This newspaper is a theory-based critical evaluation of "Young Goodman Dark brown" compiled by Nathaniel Hawthorne. This newspaper is intended to address the type of individual, especially the goodness and badness of Man. To fulfill this aim, I used the theory of Yin-Yang; because it illustrates the nature of Man well. Yin and Yang although refer to two opposing aspects of objects, they aren't independent. I believe that, the same is the real human aspect. Everyone has both the white and the dark area in his dynamics, the important thing is the fact that how to give a balance between these two dependant aspects. On the other side I considered the puritans` contemporary society and provided some sources from the storyline.

In the nineteenth century, North american freelance writers, including Nathaniel Hawthorne, were influenced by the European Romantic movements but added their own nationalistic twist. The most famous European Romantics included William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and William Blake. The characteristics of the movements, which began in Germany at the start of the eighteenth century, included a pastime in the energy of the average person; an obsession with extreme experiences, including dread, love, and horror; an interest in character and natural panoramas; and an emphasis on the importance of everyday occurrences. Some writers in America who drew from the Intimate tradition were Wayne Fenimore Cooper, Washington Irving, and the transcendentalists Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. American Romantics in the early nineteenth century tended to commemorate the American landscape and emphasize the thought of the sublime, which glorified their beautiful home country. They also created the idea of an American Romantic hero, who often lived only in the wilderness, close to the land, such as Cooper's Leatherstocking or Thoreau himself at Walden Fish pond.

"Young Goodman Brown" works with into a subgenre of American Romanticism: the gothic or dark relationship. Novels and stories of this type feature vivid descriptions of morbid or gloomy occurrences, coupled with mental or internal torment. The dark Romantics became a member of the Intimate movement's emphasis on sentiment and extremity with a gothic sensibility, wanting to create reports that could move viewers to dread and question their surroundings. Edgar Allen Poe, who wrote "The Fall of the House of Usher" (1839) and "The Tell-Tale Heart and soul" (1843), was probably the most famous of the freelance writers to work in the American dark Passionate genre. Goodman Brown's come across with the devil and struggle with the bad within himself are both basic elements of a dark Romance.

Hawthorne first publicized "Young Goodman Dark brown" anonymously in New Great britain journal in 1835 and again under his own name in his short-story collection Mosses from an Old Manse in 1846. Like most of the experiences in Mosses, "Young Goodman Brown" examines Hawthorne's favorite designs: the loss of religious faith, occurrence of temptation, and social ills of Puritan communities. These themes, along with the story's dark, surreal closing, make "Young Goodman Dark brown" one of the Hawthorne's most popular short stories. The storyplot is often regarded as a precursor to the books Hawthorne had written later in his life, like the Scarlet Letter (1850), THE HOME of the Seven Gables (1851), The Blithedale Love (1852), and The Marble Faun (1860).

3. Assertion of the Problem

The concern that my research seeks to handle the nature of humans and the reason why that leads to its fall. Exactly like what occurred to the protagonist of the story, "Young Goodman Dark brown" who entered the "dark forest, " and lost his trust.

4. Justification for my theoretical approach

Yin and yang signify two opposite aspects of every object and its own implicit issue and interdependence. Generally, anything that is moving, ascending, smart, progressing, hyperactive, including practical disease of your body, pertains to yang. The characteristics of stillness, descending, darkness, degeneration, hypoactivity, including organic and natural disease, pertain to yin.

The aspect of yin and yang is comparative. Matching to Yin-Yang theory, everything in the universe can be split into the two complete opposite but complementary areas of yin and yang and so on infinitum.

I assume that theory would help to crystal clear the nature of individual, the goodness and badness of people such Young Goodman Brown and the individuals in his world. Moreover, I'd go through the puritan population of his time, through the Puritanism.

5. Analysis

In the beginning, I would refer to the history of Puritanism and present some recommendations to the story

The Background of Puritanism

In "Young Goodman Brown, " Hawthorne sources three dark situations from the Puritans' background: the Salem Witch Tests of 1692, the Puritan intolerance of the Quakers, and King Philip's War. Through the Salem Witch Studies, one of the very most nightmarish shows in Puritan record, the villagers of Salem wiped out twenty-five innocent people who were accused to be witches. The witch hunts often included accusations predicated on revenge, jealousy, botched child delivery, and other reasons that had little to do with perceived witchcraft. The Puritan intolerance of Quakers happened during the second 50 % of the seventeenth century. Puritans and Quakers both resolved in America, searching for religious freedom and start their own colonies where they could imagine what they wanted to. However, Puritans started forbidding Quakers from settling in their towns and made it illegal to be a Quaker; their intolerance soon led to imprisonments and hangings. King Philip's War, the final event referenced in Hawthorne's account, occurred from 1675 to 1676 and was actually some small skirmishes between Indians and colonists. Indians attacked colonists at frontier towns in american Massachusetts, and colonists retaliated by raiding Indian villages. Once the colonists gained the war, the balance of power in the colonies finally tipped completely toward the Puritans.

These historical occurrences are not at the center of "Young Goodman Brown, " which takes place after they happen, nevertheless they do inform the action. For example, Hawthorne appropriates the brands of Goody Cloyse and Martha Carrier, two of the "witches" killed at Salem, for townspeople in his account. The devil refers to viewing Goodman Brown's grandfather whipping a Quaker in the streets and handing Goodman Brown's dad a flaming torch so that he could arranged fire to an Indian town during Ruler Philip's Warfare. By including these personal references, Hawthorne reminds the reader of the dubious history of Salem Village and the legacy of the Puritans and emphasizes the historical roots of Goodman Brown's desire for the devil and the dark part.

In "Young Goodman Brown, " Hawthorne discloses what he recognizes as the corruptibility that results from Puritan society's focus on public morality, which often weakens private spiritual faith. Although Goodman Dark brown has made a decision to enter into the forest and meet with the devil, he still hides when he recognizes Goody Cloyse and hears the minister and Deacon Gookin. He seems more concerned with how his trust appears to other people than with the actual fact that he has decided to meet the devil. Goodman Brown's religious convictions are rooted in his belief that those around him are also spiritual. This sort of faith, which will depend on a lot on other's views, is easily weakened. When Goodman Brown discovers that his daddy, grandfather, Goody Cloyse, the minister, Deacon Gookin, and Faith are in little league with the devil, Goodman Brown quickly chooses that he could as well do the same. Hawthorne seems to suggest that the danger of basing a culture on moral guidelines and religious faith lies in the fact that users of the population do not arrive at their own moral decisions. When they copy the values of the individuals around them, their beliefs becomes weakened and rootless.

In the next step, I will discuss about nov Man in "Young Goodman Brown"; however, before that, I'd present a description of the theory of Yin-Yang.

The Theory of Yin-Yang

Ancient Chinese individuals were greatly interested in the human relationships and habits that occurred in nature. Instead of studying isolated things, they seen the globe as a harmonious and holistic entity. In their eyes, no being or form could can be found unless it was observed in relation to its encircling environment. By simplifying these human relationships, they tried out to explain complicated phenomena in the world. Yin yang theory is some sort of reasoning, which views things in relation to its whole. The theory is dependant on two basic components: yin and yang, that are neither materials nor energy. They combine in a complementary manner and form a method for explaining connections between objects. Steadily, this logic originated into something of thought that was put on the areas. Traditional Chinese Remedies (TCM) is an example of one area where in fact the yin yang theory is used to comprehend complicated relationships in the torso.

The original concept of yin and yang originated from the observation of character and the environment. "Yin" originally described the shady side of a slope while "yang" described the sunny area. Later, this thinking was used in understanding other occurrences, which took place in pairs and had complementary and opposing characteristics in characteristics. Some examples include: sky and earth, day and night, water and flame, active and unaggressive, male and female etc. Working with these ideas, early people recognized practically all things could have yin and yang properties. Yin and yang can explain two relative areas of the same phenomena including the example of the slope, or they can summarize two different things like sky and earth. Usually, yang is associated with enthusiastic qualities. For instance, activity, outward and upward direction, heat, lighting, activation, activity and enjoyment are all yang qualities. Yin, on the other hands, is from the physical form of your subject and has less enthusiastic characteristics such as snooze, inward and downward course, chilly, darkness, condensation, inhibition, and nourishment.

See Table below for a information of yin and yang characteristics

Examples of Yin Yang Pairs


















Physiological functions



According to this theory, Yin -Yang are complementary opposites that interact within a greater whole, within a active system. Everything has both yin and yang aspects, but either of the aspects may express more strongly in particular objects, and may ebb or stream over time. The idea of yin and yang is often symbolized by various types of the Taijitu mark, that it is probably most widely known in western cultures.

There is a perception, especially in the Western, that yin and yang match good and evil but not respectively. However, Taoist beliefs generally deals good/bad distinctions and other dichotomous moral judgments, instead of the thought of balance. Confucianism (especially the philosophy of Dong Zhongshu, circa the next century BCE) performed connect a moral dimension to the thought of yin and yang, but the modern sense of the term largely stems from Buddhist adaptations of Taoist school of thought (Taylor, Rodney Leon (2005). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Confucianism, Vol. 2. New York: Rosen Publishing Group. p. 869).

The dynamics of yin-yang

In Taoist philosophy, yin and yang happen together from an initial quiescence or emptiness (wuji, sometimes symbolized by an empty group), and continue relocating tandem until quiescence is reached again. For instance, dropping a natural stone in a relaxed pool of water will simultaneously raise waves and lower troughs between them, and this alternation of high and low points in water will radiate outward before movement dissipates and the pool is calm once more. Yin and yang are thus are always opposite and equal attributes. Further, whenever one quality gets to its peak, it'll naturally start to transform in to the opposite quality: for example, grain that reaches its full elevation in summer (fully yang) will produce seed products and die back in winter (completely yin) within an endless circuit.

It is impossible to talk about yin or yang without some reference to the opposite, since yin and yang are bound together as elements of a mutual whole entire (i. e. you cannot have the back of a side without the front). Ways to illustrate this idea is to postulate the idea of a contest with only men or only women; this contest would disappear in one generation. Yet, women and men mutually create new years that allow the race they mutually create (and mutually come from) to make it through. The conversation of the two gives birth to things( http://www. iep. utm. edu/y/yinyang. htm). Yin and yang transform each other: like an undertow in the ocean, every progress is complemented by the retreat, and every go up transforms into a land. Thus, a seed will sprout from the planet earth and grow upwards for the sky - an intrinsically yang motion. Then, when it extends to its full potential height, it will fall.

Religious and philosophical importance

The Taijitu and concept of the Zhou period reach into family and gender relations. Yin is feminine and yang is male. They fit together as two elements of a whole. From a philosophical standpoint professionals of Zen Yoga exercise see yin-yang as a movement. The Taijitu is one of the oldest and best-known life symbols on the planet, but few understand its full interpretation. It symbolizes one of the very most fundamental and profound theories of historic Taoist school of thought. At its center will be the two poles of life, which are opposite but complementary. The light, white Yang upgrading blends in to the dark, dark-colored Yin moving down. Yin and Yang are centered opposing makes that stream in an all natural circuit, always seeking balance. Though they may be opposing, they aren't towards one another. As part of the Tao, they are merely two areas of a single actuality. Each contains the seed of the other, which explains why we visit a black place of Yin in the white Yang and vice versa. They do not merely replace each other but actually become each other through the frequent stream of the universe (Hoopes, Aaron (2007). Zen Yoga exercise: A Way to Enlightenment though Breathing, Movement and Deep breathing. Kodansha International).

http://www. shen-nong. com/eng/images/principles/yinyang/pic_yanyang1. gif

Social Goodness

I suppose that the best fault of Young Goodman Dark brown was his over trusting to his population and the spiritual people. As he gets stunned when the traveller tells him

"Wickedness or not, " said the traveller with the twisted personnel, "I have a very basic acquaintance within New Great britain. The deacons of many a cathedral have drunk the communion wines with me; the selectmen of divers towns make me their chairman; and a majority of the Great and General Courtroom are firm followers of my interest. The governor and I, too--But they are point out secrets. "

"Can this be so?" cried Goodman Dark brown, with a stare of amazement at his undisturbed friend. "Howbeit, I have nothing to do with the governor and council; they have their own ways, and are no guideline for a simple husbandman like me. But, were I to be on with thee, how must i meet the vision of that classic man, our minister, at Salem community? Oh, his speech would make me tremble both Sabbath day and lecture day. "Therefore that he even will not dare to think of his governor to be wrong.

System Slavery

As a matter of fact, Young Goodman Dark brown was the slave of his modern culture because he previously no criteria for his view, in other phrase, he was fed by his contemporary society and federal government; as it is stated

"Have something by yourself, unless could be the slave of the others. "

I personally believe that everyone should find God in his own way and for themselves not by the meals of the contemporary society or people.

Significance of Analysis

From the moment he steps in to the forest, Goodman Dark brown voices his concern with the wilderness, experiencing the forest as a location where no good is possible. In such a he echoes the dominating viewpoint of seventeenth-century Puritans, who believed that the wild " NEW WORLD " was something to dread and then dominate. Goodman Dark brown, like other Puritans, associates the forest with the wild "Indians" and recognizes one concealing behind every tree. He is convinced that the devil could easily be there in such a place-and he eventually sees the devil himself, just as he previously expected. He considers it a matter of family honor that his forefathers would never have strolled in the forest for pleasure, and he is annoyed when the devil says him that was not the case. He himself is ashamed to be observed walking in the forest and hides when Goody Cloyse, the minister, and Deacon Gookin pass. The forest is characterized as devilish, frightening, and dark, and Goodman Brown is comfortable in it only after he has given in to evil.

Female purity, a favorite concept of Us citizens in the nineteenth century, is the steadying push for Goodman Brown as he wonders whether to renounce his religion and become a member of the devil. When he calls for leave of Faith at the start of the storyplot, he swears that after this one nights evildoing, he'll hold onto her skirts and ascend to heaven. This idea, a man's partner or mother will redeem him and do the task of true spiritual belief for your family, was popular during Hawthorne's time. Goodman Brown clings to the thought of Faith's purity throughout his trials in the forest, swearing that as long as Trust remains holy, he will get it in himself to resist the devil. When Goodman Brown finds that Trust is present at the ceremony, it changes all his ideas in what is good or bad on the planet, removing his power and ability to resist. Female purity was such a robust idea in Puritan New Britain that men relied on women's trust to shore up their own. When even Faith's purity dissolves, Goodman Dark brown loses any chance to avoid the devil and redeem his trust.

Hypocrisy of the puritan society

"But, irreverently consorting with these grave, reputable, and pious people, these elders of the cathedral, these chaste dames and dewy virgins, there were men of dissolute lives and women of spotted fame, wretches given to all mean and filthy vice, and suspected even of horrid offences. It was odd to note that the nice shrank not from the wicked, nor were the sinners abashed by the saints. "

In this passage, which shows up halfway through the storyline, Goodman Brown recognizes the ceremony and the dark area of Salem Town. The transgression of social boundaries is one of the most confusing and upsetting aspects of the service. The Puritans acquired made a culture that was quite definitely based on morality and faith, in which status came from having a high standing up in the cathedral and a high moral reputation among other townspeople. When Goodman Brown instructs the devil at the beginning of the storyline that he's pleased with his dad and grandfather's high morals and religious convictions, he is describing the way the society where he lives beliefs these traits above all others. When Goodman Brown sees the mingling of these two different kinds of folks at the wedding ceremony, he's horrified: the service reveals the breakdown of the public order, which he assumed was ironclad. Hawthorne is pointing out the hypocrisy of an world that prides itself on its moral status and makes outcasts of folks who do not live up to its benchmarks.

The Fall of Man

Young Goodman Brown" functions as an allegory of the fall of man, that Hawthorne draws to illustrate what he sees as the inherent fallibility and hypocrisy in American faith. Hawthorne creates a tale of a guy who is lured by the devil and succumbs because of his interest and the weakness of his beliefs. Like Eve in the booklet of Genesis, Goodman Brown cannot help himself from wanting to know what is behind the secret of the forest. And like Eve, Goodman Brown is compensated for his curiosity with information that changes his life for the worse. Throughout the wedding ceremony in the forest, the devil says Goodman Dark brown and Trust that their eyes will now be opened up to the wickedness of themselves and the ones around them. Adam and Eve were exiled from your garden of Eden and compelled to endure all the studies and tribulations to be real human, and Goodman Dark brown earnings from the forest to realize that the happiness in life has been recinded from him. He is becoming suspicious of these around him, even the woman he once liked.

The Staff

The devil's staff, which is encircled by way of a carved serpent, draws from the biblical symbol of the serpent as an wicked demon. In the Reserve of Genesis, the serpent tempts Eve to tastes the super fruit from the forbidden tree, defying God's will and getting his wrath after humanity. If the devil says Goodman Brown to work with the staff to travel faster, Goodman Dark brown takes him up on the offer and, like Eve, is in the end condemned for his weakness by sacrificing his innocence. Besides representing Eve's temptation, the serpent symbolizes her curiosity, that leads her into that temptation. Goodman Brown's decision to come into the forest is encouraged by curiosity, as was Eve's decision to consume the forbidden berry. The staff makes clear that the old man is more demon than human which Goodman Brown, when he needs the staff for himself, is on the path toward wicked as well.

Faith's Green Ribbons

The green ribbons that Trust places in her cover represent her purity. The colour pink is associated with innocence and gaiety, and ribbons themselves are a moderate, innocent decor. Hawthorne mentions Faith's pink ribbons several times at the start of the storyline, imbuing her identity with youthfulness and contentment. He reintroduces the ribbons when Goodman Dark brown is in the forest, fighting his doubts about the goodness of individuals he knows. If the green ribbon flutters down from the sky, Goodman Brown perceives it as an indicator that Faith has definitely fallen into the world of the devil-she has shed this signal of her purity and innocence. By the end of the storyplot, when Trust greets Goodman Dark brown as he comes back from the forest, she is wearing her pink ribbons again, suggesting her go back to the physique of innocence she offered at the start of the story and casting uncertainties on the veracity of Goodman Brown's experience.

In the story, Faith both identifies Goodman Dark brown`s partner and his beliefs. We see that in the end of the storyplot, when Beliefs greets him he will not reply because he has lost both his faith and his want to his better half.

Devil`s temptations

"On he flew on the list of black pines, brandishing his staff with frenzied gestures, now supplying vent for an inspiration of horrid blasphemy, and now shouting forth such laughter as arranged all the echoes of the forest laughing like demons around him. The fiend in his own shape is less hideous than when he rages in the breast of man. "

This passage, in which Goodman Brown gives up on striving resisting the devil's temptations, occupies the devil's personnel, and makes his way toward the service, appears in regards to a third of the way into the report. It suggests that some of the pity and horror Goodman Dark brown seems when he returns to Salem Village will come from his sense of weakness at having succumbed to bad. Goodman Dark brown resists the devil while he still feels that various members of his family and community are godly, however when he's shown, one by one, they are all servants of the devil, he offers in to his dark area completely and grabs the devil's staff. The change that comes over him after either getting up from his dream or going back from the wedding ceremony can be discussed partially by his pity at having dropped so quickly and drastically into wicked.

". . . As nearly as could be discerned, the next tourist was about fifty yrs. old, apparently in the same rank of life, as Goodman Brown, and bearing a considerable resemblance to him, Though perhaps more in expression than features. "

According to the Yin-Yang theory, the devil is a part of human beings which was true for Goodman Dark brown too.

"By sympathy of your individuals hearts for sin ye shall scent out all the places-whether in church, bedchamber, streets, field, or forest-where criminal offenses has been determined, and shall exult to behold the complete earth one stain of guilt, one mighty blood spot. "

Near the end of the storyline, the devil promises Goodman Dark brown and Faith that they can have a fresh outlook on life, one that stresses the sinning characteristics of all mankind, and condemns Goodman Dark brown to a life of fear and outrage at the doings of his fellow man. This dark view of life is an entire turnaround from the ideas that Goodman Brown had held at the start of the storyline. Then, he considered his family as godly; Faith as perfectly 100 % pure; and the Reverend, Deacon, and Goody Cloyse as models of morality. The devil finally shows him that his views are na‡ve and provides him the ability to start to see the dark side in virtually any human context. When Goodman Dark brown comes back to the village, he trusts no-one. As the devil's conversation suggests, Goodman Dark brown has seen the wicked in every individual, and once he has began viewing it, he cannot stop.


It is unclear whether the come across in the forest was a wish, but for the others of his life, Goodman Brown is evolved. He does not trust anyone in his community, cannot believe the words of the minister, and does not fully love his better half. He lives the remainder of his life in gloom and fear.

Young Goodman Brown lost his beliefs because he constantly judged the others by the requirements of the society not by the specifications of himself. In fact, he had no system for himself. As his name presents, initially he was young however in the end although he was old, he was young because he did not become completed. It is worthwhile to be noted that, the story commences at sunset that in line with the Yin-Yan Theory could refer to Young Goodman Dark brown`s own personal, the darkness and devil.

The other aspect which i considered in my own paper was the Puritanism; Puritans believed that man been around for the glory of God; that his first matter in life was to do God's will and so to get future delight (Morison, Samuel Eliot (1972). The Oxford History of the North american People. NEW YORK: Coach. p. 102 ). In "Young Goodman Brown, " Hawthorne unveils what he considers as the corruptibility that results from Puritan society's emphasis on public morality, which often weakens private religious beliefs. Although Goodman Brown has decided to enter into the forest and meet the devil, he still hides when he views Goody Cloyse and hears the minister and Deacon Gookin. He seems more worried about how his beliefs appears to other people than with the fact that he has made a decision to meet the devil. Goodman Brown's religious convictions are rooted in his idea that those around him are also spiritual. This kind of faith, which is dependent very much on other people's views, is easily weakened.

The story also focus on the fact that how the Puritans' tight moral code and overemphasis on the sinfulness of humankind foster undue suspicion and distrust. Goodman Brown's experience in the forest-whether aspiration or reality-causes him to reduce his beliefs in others and die an unhappy man. Notice the previous words of the storyline

"They carved no hopeful verse upon his tombstone; for his dying hour was gloom. "

The other theme of the storyline identifies the realization that bad can infect people who seem upright. Goodman Brown discovers that even highly reputed people in Salem land sufferer to the forces of darkness. Today-when corporate and business executives cheat stockholders, politicians lay to succeed elections, and members of the clergy defraud their congregations-this theme still resonates.

"There is absolutely no good on earth, " Goodman Dark brown observes, "and sin is but a name. " In other words, whether an action is good or evil appears to count on who is viewing the action. The zealotry of a Puritan punishing a wrongdoer-like Goodman Brown's grandfather lashing "a Quaker female so smartly through the streets"-might be praised as a just action by another Puritan but condemned as an inhumane work by non-Puritans. These opposing views of the same action seem to confuse Brown; he is like a modern man who is told that "everything runs" or that you moral position is really as valid as another, opposing one. You will find, of course, overall moral values which should prevail for everyone, irrespective of their religious beliefs or insufficient it. For instance, murder is often wrong; child misuse is always wrong. However, the devil amount succeeds in confounding Brown on what's truly right and what is truly wrong. Eventually, One man's virtue is another man's sin, and vice versa.

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