The Veil Of Darkness In Young Goodman Brown

1353 Words 6 Pages
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s stories have been passed down through almost two centuries of audiences. Specializing in a style of dark romanticism, Hawthorne left many critics grasping for answers about the core meaning behind his eerie tales. Piercing through the veil of darkness, guilt, and sin, peculiar similarities begin to provide answers to the cornerstone of Hawthorne’s writing. Stories such as Young Goodman Brown and The Minister’s Black Veil connect the dots comprised of darkness, guilt, and sin. Delving deep into the maze of Hawthorne’s writing, what will be the real message intended for audiences.
Critics ranging from past to current have been fixated by the darkness and supernatural aspects surrounding Hawthorne’s writing and its comparison
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Special consideration is placed on the interior monologue of goodman Brown when leaving to go on his journey, “Poor little Faith…What a wretch am I, to leave her on such an errand!” (387). This provides the initial crack in the façade towards the question of faith. This moment also foreshadows the question presented by the narrator, “Had goodman Brown fallen asleep in the forest, and only dreamed a wild dream of a witch-meeting? (395). Hawthorne seems to provide evidence to support both, but why? The question itself seems oddly shallow and out of place to the complex theme; it acts as a distraction. As presented earlier, Faith is the central theme of this story. Whether goodman Brown experienced the horror of his journey in the woods mentally or physically is irrelevant because they can both be proven to be correct. Those that believe it was a dream can provide the lapse of time between events as evidence when goodman Brown seemingly wakes up in the forest. Those that believe the events were real can provide, “…a hanging twig, that had been on fire, besprinkled his cheek…” as evidence to the festivity of the devil’s baptism. Both conveniently provide only circumstantial evidence. The distraction of this question is what Hawthorne is demonstrating in plain view throughout the story. Where is your (the reader’s) …show more content…
Hawthorne uses this story to demonstrate the effects of guilt caused by sin. Similar to Young Goodman Brown, this story has a deeper message this time about judgement. Understanding the underlying story of The Minister’s Black Veil will help discover Hawthorne’s intended message as well as support claims on Young Goodman Brown.
The most powerful message it exposed at the end of the story, “…loathsomely treasuring up the secret of his sin; then deem me a monster…I look around me, and lo! On every visage a black veil” (418). In this story, Hawthorne wants the reader to become an observer of the minister. By becoming an observer in this story, the minister directly focuses on the audience to state that everyone sins. Whether one wears their sin on their exterior or in secrete, there is no difference. How does this relate to Hawthorne in his personal life? William Heath pointed out that this could be guilt over the Salem Witch Trials. Reaching out to Young Goodman Brown, Hawthorne adds a scene where a group of Puritans are performing a satanic worship deep within the woods. This is an example of irony where non-Puritans would be sentenced to death for being accused a witch. The tone and style of this scene resonates with resentment. This will be a resentment that can be seen throughout Hawthorne’s writing, such as The Scarlet

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