Explication of a Passage in
Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown
Young Goodman Brown came forth at sunset, into the street of Salem village, but put his head back, after crossing the threshold, to exchange a parting kiss with his young wife. And Faith, as the wife was aptly named, thrust her own pretty head into the street, letting
the wind play with the pink ribbons of her cap, while she called to Goodman Brown. "Dearest heart," whispered she, softly and rather sadly, when her lips were close to his ear, "pr'y thee, put off your journey until
sunrise, and sleep in your own bed to-night. A lone woman is troubled with such dreams and such thoughts, that she's afeard of herself, sometimes. Pray, tarry with me this night, dear husband, of all nights in the year!" "My love and my Faith," replied young Goodman Brown, "of all nights in the year, this one night must I tarry away from thee. My journey, as thou callest it, forth and back again, must needs be done 'twixt now and sunrise. What, my sweet, pretty wife, dost thou doubt me already, and we but three months married! "Then God bless you!" said Faith, with the pink ribbons, "and may you find all well, when you come back." "Amen!" cried Goodman Brown. "Say thy prayers, dear Faith, and go to bed at dusk, and
no harm will come to thee." So they parted; and 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. (par. 1-5)
The beginning of Young Goodmen Brown readers are introduced to Goodman Brown and his wife of three months Faith. Brown is off on a unknown mission for the night but Faith is pleads with him not to go. It is obvious through the introduction that Goodman Brown is the protagonist of Hawthorne’s short story and the point of view is from an anonymous onlooker. The very first sentence shows that the narrator is an nonparticipant because they are...
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