Goodman Brown Essay

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Omar Longi
3/31/13
English 102
Mrs. Comstock
Goodman Brown’s Hallucinations

“Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a short story about a man who leaves his wife to go on a journey through a forest. The controversial part about the story is whether or not Young Goodman Brown actually experiences the events that take place in the forest. While some people may believe that Young Goodman Brown does actually see everything in the forest, I believe that Nathaniel Hawthorne’s use of pathos and logos hint that they are all in his imagination. Hawthorne uses pathos to reveal the emotions between Goodman Brown and Faith before his departure. In the beginning of the story before he leaves, Young Goodman Brown thinks to himself after looking back at Faith, “What a wretch am I to leave her on such an errand...there was trouble on her face, as if a dream had warned her what work is to be done tonight…after this one night I’ll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven.” (325). This thought by Brown was almost as if he was planning on cheating on his wife during his trip and he was planning on stopping after this one last time. In the middle of his trip through the forest Young Goodman Brown begins seeing things and hearing noises. One of the things he sees is Faith’s ribbon “something fluttered lightly down through the air and caught on the branch of a tree. The young man seized it, and beheld a pink ribbon.” (329). Knowing that he was doing something wrong, Young Goodman Brown was paranoid about his wife finding out and therefore hallucinated the ribbon falling from the sky out of paranoia. This also explains why Young Goodman Brown’s wife is named Faith because he is not faithful to her and that is what causes him to think a ribbon fell from the sky. This shows that Hawthorne’s use of emotions proves that some of the events Goodman Brown witnessed, did not actually take place. Nathaniel Hawthorne uses logos to reveal that the events are not actually...
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