Youn Goodman Brown

Topics: Young Goodman Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Short story Pages: 5 (1722 words) Published: February 28, 2013
Source Citation (MLA 7th Edition)
Ozersky, Josh. "Critical Essay on 'Rip Van Winkle'." Short Stories for Students. Ed. David M. Galens. Vol. 16. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Literature Resource Center. Web. 28 Feb. 2013. Source Citation (MLA 7th Edition)

Humma, John B. "'Young Goodman Brown' and the Failure of Hawthorne's Ambiguity." Colby Library Quarterly 9.8 (Dec. 1971): 425-431. Rpt. in Short Story Criticism. Ed. Anna J. Sheets. Vol. 29. Detroit: Gale Research, 1998. Literature Resource Center. Web. 28 Feb. 2013. Review of Selected Criticism of "Young Goodman Brown"

This chapter looks at "Young Goodman Brown" from the perspective of the female characters. Baym notes that the protagonists, usually male, reject any sexual relationship with a woman, ordinarily the wife or fiancee (136). Usually, the rejection has a fatal effect on the scorned woman. Baym notes that stories written before 1842 have a female character who is destroyed only by accident not by intention. She notes that Brown's departure from Faith was not an intentional act since Brown actually planned on returning to her after the forest trip. But Baym believes that the very act of the man leaving the woman shows the male's indifference to the security of their female counterparts. Baym sees the women as being sexual beings and men as "sexually frozen" (138). She advises that man's lack of sexual desire is what truly kills the woman and allows the man to continue living in a hollow life. Baym quickly assures her readers that her comments do not reflect "the real nature of women but about the way in which men imagine them" (138). She suggests that Hawthorne's men are obsessed with females but the only way they can make any connection with women is through fantasy. Coleman, Arthur. "Hawthorne's Pragmatic Fantasies." This article looks at the role of fantasy in many of Hawthorne's works. There is a very small section devoted to "Young Goodman Brown". In general, Coleman focuses on Hawthorne's use of fantastic, eerie settings. "Young Goodman Brown" works as both reality and fantasy because of the distressed mind of Brown which could lead him to imagine bizarre events. Hawthorne's question at the end of the story keeps the wondrous events within a sensible realm (362). Easterly, Joan Elizabeth. "Lachrymal Imagery in Hawthorne's 'Young Goodman Brown'." Joan Easterly claims in her article that Goodman Brown is a changed man after his experience in the woods. She notes that Hawthorne demonstrates how Brown, a Puritan, fails the test of his moral and spiritual being. Easterly points out that Brown does not cry after realizing what he has witnessed at the witches' commune. By not crying or realizing his inner emotions, Brown cannot progress morally or spiritually. This explains the symbolism that Hawthorne uses throughout the work. For example, the cold drops from the hanging twig as Brown awakes are not a Christian baptism since the water does not sprinkle on his head like in most Christian baptisms (340). The dewdrops represent, according to Easterly, the reproval of Brown and his own wickedness. Brown's lack of tears shows that he has no pity or compassion for the witches and therefore he cannot be a true Christian himself. Easterly concludes that Young Goodman Brown is emotionally sterile compared with the emotionally charged witches' meeting. Hardt, John S. "Doubts in the American Garden: Three Cases of Paradisal Skepticism Three works are discussed in this article: "Rip Van Winkle", "Young Goodman Brown", and "The Fall of the House of Usher." In all of the works, the main characters enter natural or edenic settings only to meet with evil forces. Hardt terms this "paradisal skepticism" or "a retreat from the paradisal ideal with a recognition of limits in human knowledge" (249). Most critics characterize these works as portraits of the American experience but instead of man moving from ignorance to knowledge, man accepts that he is not capable of knowing...
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