Young Goodman Brown And Sir Gawain And The Green Knight
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Supernatural Acceptance in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” and The Gawain Poet’s Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” and The Gawain Poet’s Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, many of the events that occur are supernatural, yet the authors present these events in a manner that appears acceptable and believable to the reader. Hawthorne and The Gawain Poet maintain suspension of disbelief in their readers by creating an environment in their narratives that are open to uncanny possibilities. Once this environment is established, the authors use causality to reinforce the believability of the events. Lastly, The Gawain Poet and Hawthorne use escalation to draw the reader’s attention away from the improbability of the events and focus on the plot instead.
In the beginning of “Young Goodman Brown,” a character both similar to Young Goodman Brown and an underworldly being is introduced – this establishes a supernatural world in which the story takes place. The man with Young Goodman Brown is revealed to be supernatural because he says, “The clock of the Old South was striking as I came through Boston… a full fifteen minutes agone” (340). This line implies that the man was able to travel the fifteen-mile distance from Boston to Salem in fifteen minutes – a speed not possible for a human being. Another indication of the figure being inhuman his staff that looks like a black snake that “twist[s] and wriggle[s] itself like a living