A Freudian Reading of Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown Essay

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A Freudian Reading of Young Goodman Brown

Incredibly, Nathaniel Hawthorne, wrote about concepts that Freud clinically proved later on. Much like Freud, Hawthorne analyzes in his tale Young Goodman Brown the same premises for which Freud is the epitome. Thus, one encounters the issues of the opposite effect that social restraint has on society, despite its purpose, as well as the unconsciousness versus consciousness in this text, together with their crucial parts - the id, superego and ego, and the issues of the libido.

Freud concluded that many of people's desires and memories are repressed because of the powerful social taboos attached to certain sexual impulses. In cases of extreme repression, the worst
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The pilgrimage takes place "twixt now and sunrise," as he takes the "dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest" (Hawthorne 375). The entire night might have been just a dream, according to Goodman himself. However, whether a dream or not, the text resembles a high psychological reflection. Tempted by the Devil and driven by the prime psychic force, Goodman starts his journey from the village of Sallem. He leaves the place of light, moral, social and spiritual order and ultimate conformity, and proceeds to the deep dark forest - a tempting environment, as "a place of wild, untamed passions and terrors" of which no human being can avoid visiting at one time or another (Hawthorne 142).

According to A Handbook of Critical Approaches of Literature, which defines most of the individual mental processes as unconscious, the transformation of the unconscious into conscious material bares a great difficulty in itself as it takes a considerable expenditure of energy. Yet, this process still may never occur. Thus, even though Goodman claims the walk to the forest into where Satan lures him to be "too far!," he still "unconsciously resumes walking" (Hawthorne 377). This example represents the prime constituent of the unconscious mental process concept. His desire to experience the evil becomes unconscious. The unconsciousness, or the id, produces the pleasure principle of human psyche where the one and only concern is instinctual

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