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Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown - The Puritans and Love Essay

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Young Goodman Brown: The Puritans and Love Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown”, exposes the puritan view of love and relationships. In theory, these two visions are diametrically opposed. One exalts love as a physical manifestation between two individuals (although it also claims to represent higher ideals), the other sees it as a spiritual need, one best manifested by attachment to God. In fact, the puritans did not see love as a good thing, but rather as an evil, a grim necessity, that is, they saw physical love (between a man and a woman, or sexuality and all it carries with it) as such. The emotional turmoil affecting Goodman Brown…show more content…
This puritan notion eclipses the New Testament's message of redemption that we have been forgiven for Adam's fault, through Jesus' sacrifice. Instead, it clings to that original notion of impurity, of a stain on all men and women. It also clings to the fact that since women are the root of all evil, they should be especially feared. A man should not love his wife, or else face the consequences of the wrath of God.
If women are evil, and sex is evil, then men cannot in good conscience be with women, yet they must, for how else will the race continue? Puritanism condemns men to a constant state of uncertainty on their actions.
Goodman Brown is no exception, in fact, he seems to be the rule. He is recently married to a woman ironically named Faith, whom he loves dearly. He seems happily married, and yet, there is something odd with him at the start of the story. We sense he is a troubled man, and the source of his worries seem to be his wife.

“'What a wretch am I, to leave her on such an errand! [...] Methought, as she spoke, there was trouble in her face, as if a dream had warned her what work is to be done to-night. But no, no! 't would kill her to think it.'”

He sets off on a journey into the woods, where he encounters the devil, and many people from his
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