Young Goodman Brown

Topics: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown, Short story Pages: 4 (1313 words) Published: October 23, 2014
A young boy’s parents did not get the opportunity to attend college and they divorced when he was only seven. His father was addicted to crack cocaine and his mother began to sell herself as a source of income. He was tossed back and forth between the two houses and used as a way for the two parents to get back at each other. As a result, this boy grew up to be a criminal and was thrown in jail for selling drugs for his father. This life of crime and debauchery was all that he knew. He constantly paid for the mistakes of his parents and his parents’ parents. This is a common event that has taken place in human society throughout time. Nathaniel Hawthorne recognized the fact that people have the burden of constantly dealing with the shortcomings and lack of opportunity that come with many mistakes that parents make. This theme and realization of Hawthorne’s is a prevalent theme in many of his stories. This theme and idea that one must pay for the mistakes of his or her forefathers is displayed not only in Hawthorne’s own history but in his stories “Dr. Rappacini’s Daughter,” “The Birthmark,” and “Young Goodman Brown” as well. Hawthorne had a family history which he was personally ashamed of. He was born in Salem Massachusetts in 1804 with the emotional burden of having a great-great grandfather that was the judge that presided over the Salem witch trials (Gollin 1). This man wrongfully convicted many women that were put to death as a result of his conviction. The blood of these women was on his hands and it was probably the thought in Hawthorne‘s mind that his ancestor did the devil’s work . This family history is most prominently displayed in his story “Young Goodman Brown” as Goodman faces similar internal conflict during his journey (Gray 90). Hawthorne thought that his sea captain father paid for these mistakes as he was killed on a voyage when Hawthorne was four years old (“Nathaniel Hawthorne” 259). Hawthorne could have conceived this idea directly from...
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