Psychological Analysis of Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Although this short story -- one of the greatest in American Literature -- was published almost a century before Sigmund Freud, a renowned psychologist and psychoanalyst, published his works, Young Goodman Brown almost explicitly illustrates how Freudian psychology works. A lot of aspects of psychology are depicted in this short story. One of the questions that one might ask is whether the experience of Goodman Brown was merely a dream or a reality. I would say that that is only a dream, based on the clues found in the text. At the first part, the scene when the couple parted, Goodman Brown said, “…she talks of dreams, too…” This means that he has been experiencing dreams that bother him. And the narrative is but one of those. It…show more content…
It is based on the standards of right and wrong. Faith, his wife, represents the superego. She persuades him not to go, and joins him in his hesitation of being a convert in the “meeting”. But I would say that his superego is weak. It must be because his father and grandfather may have been evil people, even his teacher Goody Cloyse and the ministers, who all taught him his catechism. The two forces on the mind continue to battle, as shown when Goodman Brown goes with the man, stopping, and goes with him again. But we know that the id won, as decided by the ego, as he was finally in the ceremony. The id doesn’t care about the consequences of an action. It only wants to satisfy the immediate needs. Goodman Brown, after following his id, experienced sorrowful consequences like the lost of his wife and his conscious mind and thinking. Freud said that the basis of experience is sexual experiences. Young Goodman Brown also has the psychosexual aspect. Every one of us has psychosexual energy called the libido. Faith, though she was seemingly too innocent, talks about sleeping at night without her husband. The point here is everyone, although holy and pious, has the libido. This is what makes people similar. Everyone experiences physical enjoyment. This might also be the cause of Goodman Brown desperateness in having his wife back. Being a good man, she is his only medium to satisfy his worldly needs, until the
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