Compare And Contrast Scarlet Letter And Young Goodman Brown

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Analyzations of The Scarlet Letter and “Young Goodman Brown” Nathaniel Hawthorne was an adept writer capable of delving into a century of superstition and religious pretension. Both The Scarlet Letter and “Young Goodman Brown” are set in the seventeenth century and are accurate representations of the people from that region and era. They prided themselves in portraying a holiness that often was not accurate. This contributes to the great hypocrisy often attached to their name. The Puritan society of that day was saturated in superstitious practices, accusations of witchcraft, and religious hypocrisy. The Puritans were a sector of the Church of England who believed that the church was still too similar to the Catholic church. In order…show more content…
Both “Young Goodman Brown” and The Scarlet Letter focus on one of these sins. “Young Goodman Brown”’s premise is a young man who is struggling with the choice between selling his soul to the devil or serving God. A Puritan believed by selling your soul to the Devil you forever damage any relationship with God. When leaving his house, he is smitten by guilt by his young wife’s sadness over his departure. She implores him to stay for this night in particular, but he sadly informs her it must be this night. After he has met up with the devil, and he is journeying through the forest he wavers in his purpose. The devil, to reassure him, begins to tell him of all the previous Puritans ( some even his own family) that have walked this same trail before him. “He lets the Devil 's true statements about the mistreatment of Indians and Quakers prepare him to accept counterfeit evidence”(Levin, 693 ) It is easy to see why Goodman Brown would be wary of this commitment considering his strong Puritan neighbors and friends; however, he agrees to go through with the proposition. Once gathered at the meeting place, he begins to recognize many prominent men and women from his society performing lewd and unseemly acts. The climax is reached when the other convert is confirmed as his dear wife, Faith. The devil address the proselytes saying,"Lo! there ye stand, my children," said the figure, in a deep and solemn tone, almost sad, with its despairing awfulness, as if his once angelic nature could yet mourn for our miserable race. "Depending upon one another 's hearts, ye had still hoped that virtue were not all a dream! Now are ye undeceived! Evil is the nature of mankind. Evil must be your only happiness. Welcome, again, my children, to the communion of your race!"” Smitten by horror at seeing his young bride opposite of him, Goodman Brown calls out,”Faith!
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