A Narrative Of The Captivity And Restoration Of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson

1136 Words Oct 19th, 2016 5 Pages
In his short story, “Young Goodman Brown,” Nathaniel Hawthorne presents an idea of the Puritan mindset that starkly contrasts with the works of Puritans like Mary Rowlandson and William Bradford: that Puritans are all keeping dark and disturbing secrets that go against their religious beliefs. In the accounts of Rowlandson and Bradford, we see a much different account of the Puritan mindset. The transgressions committed in “A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson” and “Of Plymouth Plantation” are much less intense than those committed in “Young Goodman Brown.” Puritan hypocrisy is also subtly presented as proof that sometimes the most pious people go against their own religions. And, while Rowlandson and Bradford end their narratives maintaining the beliefs to which they have subscribed, the protagonist at the conclusion of “Young Goodman Brown” can no longer trust what he has always believed. Hawthorne’s conflicting representations of Puritan life would not have been well embraced by genuine Puritans such as Rowlandson and Bradford.
The first major difference we see when comparing the Puritans as presented by Hawthorne to how they are presented by Rowlandson and Bradford is the severity of sin. In “Of Plymouth Plantation,” readers are given an anecdote about “a proud and very profane young man” who exhibited crude behavior (Bradford 131). When the man dies and is thrown overboard, it is considered “a special work of God’s providence” (Bradford…

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