Young Goodman Brown's Black Veil Essay

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Young Goodman Brown’s Black Veil
"There is no one righteous, not even one.” This is the theme present throughout the short stories “Young Goodman Brown” and “The minister's black veil”. Nathaniel Hawthorne crafts two stories that not only look at the characters in the stories, but also forces the reader to examine human nature and their own self-righteousness; whether it be from the perspective of Goodman Brown or the townspeople of Salem. Nathaniel Hawthorne offers a peek behind the black veil that everyone wears. The first, and most prominent, similarity in these two stories is theme. Both stories deal with the idea that people are not good and more accurately are evil. The townspeople of Milford learn this just before Parson Hooper dies and he explains they are all wearing a black veil and that no one is righteous. Goodman Brown learns this first hand when he goes to the woods to make a deal with the devil, and sees who he believes to be the most righteous of the town; only to discover they are just as evil and impure as the rest of the world. "My Faith is gone!" cried he, after one stupefied moment. "There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name. Come, devil!
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In both stories Nathaniel Hawthorne offers a portrait of how he views puritan society by setting each story in a small Puritan village, and in “Young Goodman Brown” he shows his true contempt by setting the story about villagers conspiring with the devil in Salem, his childhood home. He portrays the villagers in each story as gossiping, in “The Minister's Black Veil” and as followers of Satan in “Young Goodman Brown”. These stories would not have the same impact or offer the in-depth look at Hawthorne they do if the stories were set elsewhere. The stories would then simply be an indictment of people in general without the added effect of Hawthorne’s personal disdain for the Puritans way of
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