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Nathaniel Hawthorne's " Young Goodman Brown"

Providing a 3 prong thesis and then to analyze "Young Goodman Brown" in terms of what this text says about good and evil and puritan morality in general.

This is what I have developed for a 3 prong thesis:

Nathaniel Hawthorne uses imagery and symbolism. These fictional elements are evident in the author's use of sexuality, the representative social hierarchy and the Puritanical idea of the "wilderness" to illuminate the reader's understanding of the moral polarity faced by the Puritan audience.

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Please refer to attached files, which is also presented below. I hope this helps and take care.

RESPONSE:

1. This is what I have developed for a 3-prong thesis:

Nathaniel Hawthorne uses imagery and symbolism. These fictional elements are evident in the author's use of sexuality, the representative social hierarchy and the Puritanical idea of the "wilderness" to illuminate the reader's understanding of the moral polarity faced by the Puritan audience.

Response:

I would use an outline something to the effect:

I. Introduction
II. Imagery and Symbolism: Sexuality
III. Imagery and Symbolism: Representative Social Hierarchy
IV. Imagery and Symbolism: Puritanical Idea of the Wilderness
V. Conclusion

I located an excellent on-line resource that I attached for your convenience. I drew from these various sources in the document (which list the references after each section). I am sure you will be able to find more for each point listed in the outline, but this will be a 'very' good start. I left the conclusion for you to write ...I would write something to the effect...

In "Young Goodman Brown," Hawthorne depicts a 17th century Puritan attempting to reach justification as Brown's faith required. Upon completing his journey, however, Brown could not confront the terrors of evil in his heart and chose to reject all of society. Puritan justification was a topic Hawthorne was aware of as an internalized journey to hell necessary for a moral man. Works such as John Winthrop's The History of New England and Neal's The History of the Puritans described justification as a psychological journey into evil, the hell of the self. Having referred to the heart of man as hell, Puritans found themselves in the midst of Satan and his multitude of devils as he established his kingdom in man's heart. "It was an interior landscape more bleak and far more treacherous than the external one in which the New World Puritan found himself" (Johnson 11). This was a dreadful revelation that caused Brown to grow bitter and distrustful, just as it did with 17th Century Puritans. Nathaniel Hawthorne uses imagery and symbolism, as evidenced in the author's use of sexuality, the representative social hierarchy and the Puritanical idea of the "wilderness" to illuminate the reader's understanding of the moral polarity faced by the Puritan audience.

Imagery and Symbolism: Sexuality

Faith "is at once an allegorical idea and the means by which the idea is inverted" (Levy 116). "Not the least terrifying aspect of the story is the insinuation that Faith has made her own independent covenant with the Devil. There is a faint suggestion that her complicity may be prior to and deeper than Brown's" (Levy 120). 2. "If he [Brown] believed in the certainty of depravity and only the possibiity of salvation, as the [Puritan] catechism teaches, he would know that even so righteous a person as Faith is corrupt and not necessarily of the elect, appearances notwithstanding" (Franklin 73).

Hawthorn uses the imagery of the pink ribbons of her cap. "The ribbons are in fact an explicit link between two conceptions of Faith, connecting sweet little Faith of the village with the woman who stands at the Devil's ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains how to analyze "Young Goodman Brown" in terms of what this text says about good and evil and puritan morality using imagery and symbolism. Specifically, it explores how the author's use of sexuality, the representative social hierarchy and the Puritanical idea of the "wilderness" to illuminate the reader's understanding of the moral polarity faced by the Puritan audience. Supplemented with two articles for further reading and application.

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