In Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown," the story is told from a limited omniscient third-person narrator point of view. Limited omniscient third-person narrator means that the focal point of the story is limited to one character. This technique works well with the story because it allows the narrator to portray what Goodman Brown is doing, and also allows him to assess and remark on Goodman Brown's doings throughout the story. Sometimes this method is used to convey the beliefs of the author, and in this instance I feel that Hawthorne is using this story to express his ideas on humans in general. The story, "Young Goodman Brown," has many themes, but it is my belief that the main theme in this classic short story is guilt versus innocence. In my opinion, third-person limited omniscient was the perfect fit for this story because the narrator is not subjective. The concept of point of view is very important in most stories and that includes, "Young Goodman Brown". The narrator can tell us what Goodman Brown is thinking and doing, but he can also throw in his two cents about what he thinks about Goodman Brown's actions or thoughts. I am glad that Hawthorne uses this point of view method because I believe that it makes the story so much better. The narrator is able to tell the story from Goodman Brown's point of view and then make an opinion about it. When Goodman Brown says, "Well; she's a blessed angel on earth; and after this one night, I'll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven" (336). Then the narrator follows that up by saying, "With this excellent resolve for the future, Goodman Brown felt himself justified in making more haste on his present evil purpose"(336). This is one of many instances throughout this story in which Goodman Brown says something and the narrator comes back with an opinion of his own. In "Goodman Brown", I believe that the narrator is third-person limited omniscient because he only speaks from Goodman Brown's point of...
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. "Young Goodman Brown." Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. Ed. Aron Keesbury. Boston: Wadsworth, 2004. 336-344.
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