Interpretations of Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 109
  • Published : February 2, 2011
Open Document
Text Preview
Kay Wise
American Lit
Dr. Smith

Young Goodman Brown
Young Goodman Brown is a story written by Nathaniel Hawthorne with many interpretations. It is a story of Young Goodman Brown’s adventure that many believe was a journey away from home. Some people believe that he was trying to get at the community and everyday social life. One way to interpret it is that Young Goodman Brown was simply taking a journey in his sleep - a dream.

When reading this story, there are many ways to interpret it as a dream. Hawthorne says, “Young Goodman Brown came forth, at sunset, into the street of Salem…” (1289) which could literally mean the sun is setting and that night is coming upon him. He also says that Brown “put his head back” (1289) which could reference him lying down before bed. After this, he kisses his wife Faith, and leaves her to go on his “journey.” I feel that he is really kissing her goodnight before he goes to sleep. When he “looked back, and saw the head of the Faith still peeping after him,” he is really opening his eyes and see that she is still awake. When Goodman Brown sees that Faith is still awake he says “God bless you...and you may find all well, when you come back” (1289), I interpreted all this as Goodman Brown had been cheating on Faith. In the beginning of the story, Goodman Brown “came forth” (1289), or came home, meaning he had not been there the whole time. Goodman Brown even asks Faith, “dost thou doubt me already, and we but three months married!” Stating the fact that she is starting to doubt Goodman Brown and their relationship. I also interpreted the wife’s name Faith as faith in their relationship. Goodman Brown’s dream begins when he “leave[s] her [Faith] on such an errand” (1289). Leaving her could either be the realization of his cheating, or him falling asleep. When he begins to describe his journey, he says that he “had taken a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest… It was as lonely...
tracking img