Nathaniel Hawthorne's Literature During Early America

1560 WordsJun 22, 20187 Pages
Nathaniel Hawthorne's literature exhibits the influence of many factors. Much of his literature addresses Puritan culture in early America, commonly focusing on the shortcomings and hypocrisies that became apparent during the numerous witch hunts. Many of his works are allegorical, using the Puritan setting to portray his own ideas about ancestry, history, and religion. While The Scarlet Letter and House of the Seven Gables are among Hawthorne's most known works, he produced a large sum of work, including many famous short stories. The most important of these, "Young Goodman Brown," is noted for its vivid depiction of witch craft and Puritan culture. However, it is of greater significance because the story clearly exhibits the marks…show more content…
This is the same woman who Goodman Brown still considers his "moral advisor" (Hawthorne 1135). Later during his trek in the woods, Brown is certain that "he recognized the voices of the minister and Deacon Gookin..." both of whom Brown greatly admires (Hawthorne 1136). All of these people surely would have been part of the predetermined elect, but no elect would perform witch craft. The penultimate figure that Goodman Brown recognizes is his own wife, Faith. Once he fully realizes the situation, he call out in desperation "My Fait is gone!" (Hawthorne 1137). He is completely distraught. "Young Goodman Brown" does not draw exclusively from Puritan religious tenants. Hawthorne makes a point to ensure the historical accuracy of his works. He uses names and prefixes (Goodman, Goody) as well as historically correct syntax and phrasing to give his works authenticity. Descriptions of the setting further develop the accuracy of his works. The description of the wilderness in particular as being dark and lonely fits with common notions at the time. The fact that the devil resided in the wilderness was a common fear of the Puritan people. Witch craft, if it was truly practiced at all, always occurred in the wilderness at night, in solitude. Using historical fears, such as witch craft, lends credence to the
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