Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Young Goodman Brown Essay

1431 Words Mar 4th, 2015 6 Pages
“‘Young Goodman Brown”’ is not a story that’s meaning is strictly limited to darkness. Inimical to Herman Melville’s proposed meaning, the meaning of “Young Goodman Brown” is humanity’s struggle between good and evil. Thus, dividing it into three facets: the innate goodness of man, deception, and faith. From birth to early adolescence, people are generally innocent. They do not perceive what is right from what is wrong. In, “Young Goodman Brown”, Nathaniel Hawthorne draws a light on this subject, that is the fact that every individual is born good, and to a certain extent they hold on to that quality. In the first paragraph of the story, the reader can already see allusion and imagery alluding to this idea: “Young Goodman Brown came forth at sunset into the street at Salem village; but put his head back, after crossing the threshold, to exchange a parting kiss with his young wife” (Hawthorne 261). This moment of the story proves Melville 's idea of total darkness in "Young Goodman Brown" to be invalid. This invalidity is shown on page 272 in Melville 's analysis of darkness in the story: “because it is, in itself, such a strong positive illustration of that blackness in Hawthorne…”(Melville). This is invalid, because the fact that Goodman Brown went and crossed back over the threshold to kiss his wife shows his innate goodness, thus, contradicting Melville 's statements. This goodness it seems is like an unknown force, like magnetism, which pulls him back. There is a…

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