Saturday, July 09, 2005

Young Goodman Brown Interpretation Essay

Task: Write a 5 paragraph essay within time alloted.Time Alloted: 30 minutes.Grade: A-Note to Reader: There is only enough time to write ONE final draft. There is little to no time for revisions. I've retransmitted this paper exactly, down to the error.

Question: Why does Young Goodman Brown not turn back? Do we have reason to believe that Young Goodman Brown dreamed this whole scenario?

Goodman Brown does not turn back because he lacks the ability to make an adequate defense for his actions as well as a deficiency in character. Time and time again in this story Goodman Brown is bested in a battle of wit and log and fails to do what he knows is right, furthermore we have sufficient evidence in the story to prove this was really just a dream.

First off, we know Goodman brown isn't skilled at logic and reason because he is unable to diffuse the arguments presented to him by the old traveler urging him to press forward. A good example of this is when Brown says "If it be as thou sayest...I marvel they never spoke of these matters." He was reffering to the accusation made that most of his friends and family had "been well acquainted" with this mysterious traveler. The traveler sternly replied back "I have a general acquaintance here in New England." A strong and powerful argument because it destroys Goodman Brown's image of the town he grew up in. In a way this man is exposing Brown's Naivite.

Brown is also seduced by what can be seen as none other than a promise of freedom. In keeping with the references to the story of Israel's deliverance from Egypt, as told by "Exodous", the Devil says "Evil must be your only happiness". In this scene Brown is shown to have finally revealed his destination and is surrounded b a congregation of people who are presumably good, but congregate here in the Devil's fold. The notion of Goodman Brown failing to uphold what he knows to be right and ending up out of favor with God and in the good graces of the devil is congealed in the final sentence of this story "they carved no hopeful verse upon his tombstone."
Two things stand out clearly though, when we ask ourselves if this had really happened or if it was all just a dream sequence. First and foremost being the challenge the narrator himself makes towards the end when it is said "had Goodman Brown fallen aseep in the forest and only dreamed a wild dream of a witch meeting." Though it merely calls into question and not actually says one way or the other, we have strong evidence by which one can easily conclude he just feel asleep, such as the use of historical people in this story.

As has been demonstrated, brown is an unskilled orator who was unable to logically defend his reasons for not abandoning the faith that was once congealed to his being and lacked the character to resist the offers of happiness afforded by capitulation to a course wrog doing. Therefore, he is unable to turnback. the idea that Brown dreamed this all is strongly supported by the historical figures placed in the book and by the accusations placed by the Author himself.

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