Nathaniel Hawthorne-Gothic Elements

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Nathaniel Hawthorne uses ‘gothic’ elements in his stories a great deal. The story it stuck out to me the most in was Young Goodman Brown. The main things in the story that made the gothic elements stick out to me are some of the settings, and characters, and events that happen within the story. This whole story is crawling with gothic elements, some very obvious and others not so much.

The story starts of in the late 16th early 17th century in Salem Massachusetts. This is the time during the Salem witch trials. This was probably, not the best time to be in Salem if I had to guess. The story starts of sunny, not so gloomy but suddenly gets that way as soon as Goodman Brown leaves his wife Faith on his errand in the woods. Anything at dusk will have that gloomy eerie filling, but woods have that little something extra that makes them extra eerie. “He had taken a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest, which barely stood aside to let the narrow path creep through, and closed immediately.” (Perkins 449) The imagery that pops up in your head when you read this is not the only thing I get out of this sentence a little creepy. The word usage is what really gets me. Hawthorne’s use of words was just amazing. The way he made you feel, you could tell it was not anywhere you would want to be. The words dreary, gloomiest and creep just gives you the chills. Once Goodman Brown is in the woods the setting only gets more gloomy and dreary. Another really strange scene is when Goodman Brown can see the bright sky, and then all of a sudden a big black cloud forms right over Brown’s head. Everywhere else he could see the “Blue Sky” (Prekins 453) except over him. Is that not creepy or what? The book calls the dark cloud a “black mass of cloud.” (Perkins 453) This is when all the dark things happen.

Some of the characters in Young Goodman Brown that have a gothic since to them are very obvious. The Devil is an example of one that...
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