Social, Political, And Cultural Realms Of `` Young Goodman Brown ``

877 Words Mar 13th, 2016 4 Pages
As nations rise and fall and cultures come and go, the social, political, and cultural realms that helped to create them live on through the written words they left behind. From these pieces of literature, scholars, new and old alike, work to find meaning. In order to accomplish this task, literary theories, from new historicism to post-structuralism, are formalized and act as lenses in which these critics use to take apart pieces of literature to gain this understanding. Only through the close examination of unique aspects of literature do critics gain a potentially new understanding of human society and how people interact with one another as we shall come to see in “Young Goodman Brown.” While writers may delve the realms of the seemingly improbable, their writings are often based on some basis of historical truth or personal experience. In the 1980s, a literary theory known as New Historicism emerged that sought to understand literature through the sociopolitical and cultural climate that helped to influence the writer (Bertens, 157). In order to effectively understand New Historicism, it is important to know its basics tenets or principles. Literature, at its core, is historical. All this means is that literature is merely a byproduct of the social and cultural trends of the time and shaped by the many consciousnesses that once existed (Bertens, 158-159). In order to fully understand literature that is, we must first understand the society and its culture that helped…

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