Point of View in Young Goodman Brown Essay

818 Words Apr 9th, 2006 4 Pages
In Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown," the story is told from a limited omniscient third-person narrator point of view. Limited omniscient third-person narrator means that the focal point of the story is limited to one character. This technique works well with the story because it allows the narrator to portray what Goodman Brown is doing, and also allows him to assess and remark on Goodman Brown's doings throughout the story. Sometimes this method is used to convey the beliefs of the author, and in this instance I feel that Hawthorne is using this story to express his ideas on humans in general. The story, "Young Goodman Brown," has many themes, but it is my belief that the main theme in this classic short story is guilt versus …show more content…
The narrator will not start talking about things that other people have seen or heard. For example, let's say that Faith saw something but Goodman did not see it or hear it, we will never hear about it because it is only from Goodman's viewpoint. What is also good about having a limited omniscient narrator is that they are not subjective. A first-person narrator is very subjective because they are with one sole character and agree with everything that character has to say because they are always in their minds. A third-person limited omniscient is always with one character, but can also get out of the character's mind and tell it from a narrator's point of view. For example, "They did so; and, by the blaze of the hell-kindled torches, the wretched man beheld his Faith, and the wife her husband, trembling before that unhallowed altar" (344). This is a great example of what I was talking about. He calls Goodman Brown a wretched man which would only happens because it is in third-person omniscient point of view.
I believe this point of view accomplishes Hawthorne's purpose in "Goodman Brown". He does not want people to figure out if Goodman was dreaming or if it was reality. In my opinion, this was the best method in doing this. The point of view remains consistent throughout the story because the narrator never changes his point of view on anything. The narrator remains constant throughout the story even when the climax happens. Goodman Brown drives

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