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Analysis Of Hawthorne 's ' The Forest '

Decent Essays
Another aspect of Hawthorne’s ancestors is that they were Puritans. The Puritan belief is finely interwoven in his story. According to Michael E. McCabe, “Puritan doctrine taught that all men are totally depraved and require constant self – examination to see that they are sinners and unworthy of God’s Grace” (1). Brown’s experience in the forest, is, in a sense, not a dream. Instead, Brown is looking deep into his soul in search of the inner evilness and whether he is worthy of “God’s Grace.” The fact that his wife and the holy men of the community are in the forest is more a projection of his own evilness onto others. When he finds Faith’s pink ribbon in the forest, it was as though his least thread of faith was gone, and he cries out,…show more content…
This requirement is why Brown doubted everyone including himself. This requirement is how so many lives were lost in the Salem Witch Trials. “In the Witch Trials men turned on their accused wives just as Goodman Brown himself has lost both his spiritual faith and his wife Faith because of something that may not have happened” (McCabe 5). This was how the Witch Trials became so large. “The Salem Witch Trials began in 1692” (Nick T. 1). What is ironic, in my opinion, is that the accusations began by three young girls. Why anyone would take accusations of this sort seriously, is incomprehensible. However, these girls, “screamed, threw things, uttered peculiar sounds and contorted themselves into strange positions” (Nick T. 2). Of course, it did not help matters when, “the local doctor blamed the supernatural and proclaimed that the community had a witch in its midst” (Nick T. 2). A diagnosis of this sort, today, would be a laughing matter. However, to the Puritans, this was very serious. These girls accused many women and even a few men of being witches. Hawthorne’s great grandpa, Judge John Hathorne, played a major role in the trials. Just as Brown has a dream or vision, Judge Hathorne allowed these dreams as real evidence against the accused. Imagine brown accusing his whole community and his own wife of witch craft. They would have all been hung, based on his “spectral evidence.” “Many of the
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