A literary analysis of guilt in the scarlet letter by nathaniel hawthorne

Leaving Salem village, he promises his wife, Faith, that he will return after this single night. Criticizing her for doubting his purposes, Brown nevertheless seems conscience-stricken about his own motivations. He vows to be true to Faith and to their religious faith—after this one night.

A literary analysis of guilt in the scarlet letter by nathaniel hawthorne

Plot summary[ edit ] The story begins at dusk in Salem Village, Massachusetts as young Goodman Brown leaves Faith, his wife of three months, for some unknown errand in the forest. Faith pleads with her husband to stay with her, but he insists that the journey must be completed that night. In the forest he meets an older man, dressed in a similar manner and bearing a physical resemblance to himself.

Download-Theses

The man carries a black serpent -shaped staff. Deeper in the woods, the two encounter Goody Cloyse, an older woman, whom Young Goodman had known as a boy and who had taught him his catechism. Cloyse complains about the need to walk; the older man throws his staff on the ground for the woman and quickly leaves with Brown.

Other townspeople inhabit the woods that night, traveling in the same direction as Goodman Brown. He then runs angrily through the forest, distraught that his beautiful Faith is lost somewhere in the dark, sinful forest.

He soon stumbles upon a clearing at midnight where all the townspeople assembled. At the ceremonywhich is carried out at a flame-lit altar of rocks, the newest acolytes are brought forth—Goodman Brown and Faith.

From the SparkNotes Blog

They are the only two of the townspeople not yet initiated. Goodman Brown calls to heaven and Faith to resist and instantly the scene vanishes. He loses his faith in his wife, along with all of humanity. He lives his life an embittered and suspicious cynic, wary of everyone around him. In "Young Goodman Brown", as with much of his other writing, he utilizes ambiguity.

Critical Evaluation

To convey the setting, he used literary techniques such as specific diction, or colloquial expressions. Language of the period is used to enhance the setting. Hawthorne gives the characters specific names that depict abstract pure and wholesome beliefs, such as "Young Goodman Brown" and "Faith".

A literary analysis of guilt in the scarlet letter by nathaniel hawthorne

The inclusion of this technique was to provide a definite contrast and irony. Hawthorne aims to critique the ideals of Puritan society and express his disdain for it, thus illustrating the difference between the appearance of those in society and their true identities.

The first part shows Goodman Brown at his home in his village integrated in his society.

Young Goodman Brown - Wikipedia

The third part shows his return to society and to his home, yet he is so profoundly changed that in rejecting the greeting of his wife Faith, Hawthorne shows Goodman Brown has lost faith and rejected the tenets of his Puritan world during the course of the night.

Believing himself to be of the elect, Goodman Brown falls into self-doubt after three months of marriage which to him represents sin and depravity as opposed to salvation.

His journey to the forest is symbolic of Christian "self-exploration" in which doubt immediately supplants faith. At the end of the forest experience he loses his wife Faith, his faith in salvation, and his faith in human goodness. Years later he wrote, "These stories were published However, there have been many other interpretations of the text including those who believe Hawthorne sympathizes with Puritan beliefs.

Author Harold Bloom comments on the variety of explanations; Stephen King has referred to the story as "one of the ten best stories written by an American". He calls it his favorite story by Hawthorne and cites it as an inspiration for his O.Literary analysis involves examining all the parts of a novel, play, short story, or poem—elements such as character, setting, tone, and imagery—and thinking about .

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne takes in place in Boston in the seventeenth century. A young puritan woman Hester Prynne is shunned by her community and is . Nathaniel Hawthorne’s historical novel The Scarlet Letter explores guilt, revenge, and redemption in colonial America. Hawthorne blends supernatural elements with psychological insight in his story of one woman’s public punishment for adultery.

Nathaniel Hawthorne's iconic novel, The Scarlet Letter, is far more complex than some simple morality tale about Hester Prynne's public shaming at the hands of the Puritan community (i.e., a.

ANALYSIS “Roger Malvin’s Burial” () Nathaniel Hawthorne () “Roger Malvin’s Burial” is important as the first instance in American literature of the individuation concept, by which one must first save one’s own soul rather than simply depending on Christ or some other.

SparkNotes: The Scarlet Letter: Symbols