Michael J. Colacurcio Analysis

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Critique of Colacurcio
Michael J. Colacurcio, an English professor at UCLA, wrote a book called: The Province of Piety: Moral History in Hawthorne’s Early Tales that analyzes Hawthorne’s work. In the book there is a section titled The End of Young Goodman Brown where Colacurcio theorizes why Young Goodman Brown finished his life depressed, suspicious, and without joy. He suggest it is because Brown “ends by doubting the existence of any unblighted goodness but his own.” (Colacurcio 302) And thus leaving him unable to enjoy his religion and faith has he once had. This is very true because religion was the main focal point in a Puritan village, and the Devil seen as the ultimate evil. So for Brown to find out that all the people he looked up
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That is a good argument, because he knows that he fought against the Devil and prevailed, but he can never be sure if the other did, so he must be only untainted person left. Colacurcio goes on to suggest the maybe, “the Devil’s proffered community of evil is the only community possible,” (Colacurcio 302) and that Brown should have become a part of it. This also has its merit, because today it’s impossible to go through life without sinning. There is too much temptation, and if someone were to somehow lead a sinless life it would push them so far out of society that they would be alone. Much like Brown after his run in with the Devil and how he was never able to be back into the community. Colacurio brings up the question, why should Goodman Brown believe the Devil if it goes against everything he has grown up in? Why was it so easy for the Devil to tempt and change him? Goodman Brown put everything on the faith that Puritan ideas were the truth, and there was nothing else out there for him. But when he saw the abyss and it stared back it opened his mind too wide, too quickly. And he couldn’t handle it, and couldn’t go back. The drums of insanity and doubt will forever be in back of his

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