Young Goodman Brown Essay

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The Witchcraft trials in 1692, which infested the small town of Salem Massachusetts, can most definitely be placed among the most illogical events in the history of the United States. Though Witchcraft was never proved to be the cause of this mysterious chain of events, one can wonder whether if in fact the Devil was present in this vile scheme. Arthur Miller and Hawthorne portray internal conflicts contained within the minds of the corrupted Young Goodman Brown and untainted Reverend John Hale. Arthur Miller recounts the horrid tale in his powerful drama, The Crucible, in which a simple hoax inspired by a few girls is augmented exponentially by the sins that lurk within the souls of each individual. With almost every citizen focused either on their own salvation or insistent upon the corruption of another, even the greatest authorities are fooled, and the fabrication is allowed to escalate into an endless chain of accusations and denial. "Young Goodman Brown" seems to deal with evil and secret guilt, as do many of Hawthorne's works thus illustrating that man's sense of remorse can distort his judgment of good vs. evil. It is apparent that Goodman Brown is overcome by some form of this guilt and is therefore obsessed with evil. The story of "Young Goodman Brown" exemplifies the struggle of one man's internal conflict of good and evil through many symbolic elements and allegorical type structure. The allegorical meaning of Hawthorns tale is that of belief. If one believes that he or she is inherently evil than whether or not they do evil is inconsequential since the belief will ultimately lead to misery. Young Goodman Browns “voyage” results in the unclear outcome as to whether this was reality. The conversion experience – a sudden realization brought about by divine intervention, a vision, or perhaps a dream – easily translates into the dream allegory

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