The Deeper Meanings of Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown Essay

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The Deeper Meanings of Young Goodman Brown "Young Goodman Brown," a story written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, should be interpreted on a psychoanalytical level rather than a religious one. It is my observation that "Young Goodman Brown" may very well be the first published work alluding to divisions of the mind and personality theory. Although religion is a direct theme throughout the story, "Young Goodman Brown" appears to be an allegory with deeper meanings. To explore properly my position concerning the dynamics of "Young Goodman Brown," it is necessary to understand Freud's structural model. The development of Freud's structural model presents an understanding of the struggles between the conscious and unconscious forces of the…show more content…
The pleasure-seeking id is clearly dominating its control over the superego. Another part of the psyche that is critical in controlling the impulses of the id is called the superego. With the superego our innate tendencies of the id are properly restrained. When Goodman Brown questions the traveler's advice to continue the journey, he is allowing his superego to take charge. This is shown when he confidently declares, "I have scruples, touching the matter thou wot'st of" (Hawthorne 274). Goodman Brown also shows signs of his fighting superego when he firmly asserts, "My mind is made up. Not another step will I budge on this errand..." (Hawthorne 276). In the story, Brown is frequently stopping and reconsidering his commitment to the traveler, which is comparable to what an id and superego would do. The superego focuses on moral standards to justify decisions. An example of this is when "Goodman Brown sat himself down at the stump of a tree and refused to go any farther" (Hawthorne 276). For Goodman Brown to stop this way, his superego must have had just enough doubt to cause him to want to stop in his tracks. The staff, which is fashioned from a maple branch by the guide, can be interpreted as a symbolic link. This link connects the dark, inner forces (the id) with the higher, rational forces that govern our benevolence (the superego). When Goodman Brown states that he will go no further, the
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