Women In 'Young Goodman Brown AndThe Birth-Mark' By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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In his short stories, “Young Goodman Brown” and “The Birth-Mark,” author Nathaniel Hawthorne exhibits his fascination with femininity. Hawthorne uses his female characters as a means of reflecting stereotypical gender roles; particularly focusing on women suffering under patriarchal oppression. The women of these Hawthorne stories are classified as beautiful, intuitive and an embodiment of spirituality as well. In “Young Goodman Brown,” the protagonist vacillates over the innate goodness of those surrounding him, particularly his wife, Faith. Faith is described as inherently sweet, her pink ribbons blatantly illustrating both her youthful and innocent character. The story begins with Brown parting ways with his newly married wife, proclaiming he must embark on an indispensable journey. Upon his descent, Faith pleads with her husband to remain home...” pr'ythee, put off your journey until sunrise, and sleep in your own bed to-night.” In response, Brown is quite patronizing. “Poor little Faith!” he cries in a deliberately dehumanizing manner. In addition to this, he mentions he sees the head of Faith peeping after him, “with a melancholy air,” this insinuating she is incompetent; incapable of spending the night without him. It is this journey that sparks a revelation within Brown in which his true feelings regrading Faith are revealed. It is evident “Faith” functions as an allegorical reference. Hawthorne reveals the wife was “aptly named,” that in itself emphasizing

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