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Dreams in Hawthorne's " Young Goodman Brown"

Hawthorne's " Young Goodman Brown" includes details that lead readers to conclude that Brown's experiences were a dream, or which details would lead you to believe that it actually happened to him. This posting examines this proposal.

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Dream elements permeate the experience. For example, it is inferred that the grim figure symbolizes the devil. The devil incessantly lures Goodman farther into the woods to witness a demonic ritual attended by Salem's hypocritical "Christian" members. These details suggest the story's theme of retribution for any contact with the devil or his evil ways. Other critics view the dream experience as a metaphor for Brown's religious disillusionment or his loss of faith.

Key textual evidence involving this question occurs. For instance, near the end of the story the narrator asks the following: "Had Goodman Brown fallen asleep in the forest, and only dreamed a wild dream of a witch-meeting?" These details suggest both the reality of actually falling asleep and dreaming or the fabrication that it is all in his subconscious.

Additionally, the witches' sabbath ...

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Hawthorne's " Young Goodman Brown" includes details that lead readers to conclude that Brown's experiences were a dream, or which details would lead you to believe that it actually happened to him. This posting examines this proposal.

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