Puritan Hypocrisy In "Young Goodman Brown" Essay

595 WordsJul 23, 20113 Pages
Puritan Hypocrisy in “Young Goodman Brown” I In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” the characters Goody Cloyse, Deacon Gookin, Minister, Faith, and Goodman Brown himself epitomize hypocrisy. Goodman Brown’s mysterious journey into the dark forest reveals satanic worship, satanic communion, satanic sacrifices, witchcraft, and hypocrisy. The story illustrates Hawthorne’s knowledge of Salem, The Salem Witch Trial of 1692, and the Puritans’ doctrine. Goodman Brown wonders why Goody Cloyse is “so far in the wilderness at nightfall” (626). He watches in astonishment as she talks face to face with the devil as if he’s a familiar friend. She states “my broomstick hath strangely disappeared” (626) which reveals she’s a witch. “…Anointing with the juice of small-age” (626) “… and the fat of a new-born babe” (626) are signs Hawthorne uses to indicate that Goody Cloyse offers small children and babies for satanic sacrifices. The continuation of her sorcery is all so clear when she says “…lend me your arm, and we shall be there in a twinkling” (626) Brown can not believe that Mrs. Cloyse, a devout Puritan, is also a devil worshipper; his remark “That old woman taught me my catechism” (627) exposes the beginning of spiritual doubt in his mind. Hawthorne makes known the minister’s and Deacon Gookin’s hypocrisy in their conversation together; Deacon Gookin says “I had rather miss an ordination dinner than to-night’s meeting” (627). The meeting is not the Puritan church meeting that Brown is familiar with, but a satanic communion meeting deep in the dark forest. Hawthorne’s description of Brown, “faint and overburdened with the heavy sickness of his heart” (628) depicts the weight of his physical, spiritual and psychological mindset in witnessing such

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