Essay about Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown – Point of View

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In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” how does the author present the characters, dialogue, actions, setting and events which comprise the narrative in this short story? This essay will answer these questions.

R. W. B. Lewis in “The Return into Time: Hawthorne” states that “there is always more to the world in which Hawthorne’s characters move than any one of them can see at a glance” (77). In Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” this fact is especially true since the main character, Goodman Brown, is a naïve hero and since the narrator tells much of the story through the limited point of view of the protagonist.

In this story the author uses a third-person narrator, who uses proper names and third-person pronouns to
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. . . The young man sat a few moments by the road-side, applauding himself greatly, and thinking with how clear a conscience he should meet the minister, in his morning-walk, nor shrink from the eye of good old Deacon Gookin. And what calm sleep would be his, that very night, which was to have been spent so wickedly, but purely and sweetly now, in the arms of Faith! Amidst these pleasant and praiseworthy meditations, Goodman Brown heard the tramp of horses along

the road, and deemed it advisable to conceal himself within the verge of the forest, conscious of the guilty purpose that had brought him thither, though now so happily turned from it.

. . .Young Goodman Brown caught hold of a tree, for support, being ready to sink down on the ground, faint and overburthened with the heavy sickness of his heart. He looked up to the sky, doubting whether there really was a Heaven above him.

. . . He knew the tune; it was a familiar one in the choir of the village meetinghouse.

. . . "But, where is Faith?" thought Goodman Brown; and, as hope came into his heart, he trembled.

. . . At the word, Goodman Brown stepped forth from the shadow of the trees,
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