Young Goodman Brown

964 WordsJul 21, 20134 Pages
Jordan Johnson Professor Christopher McBride ENGL 303 23 June 2013 Essay Assignment One: Reader-Response Criticism Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” is a short story in which the author attempts to convey several different messages or themes throughout the literary piece. Themes in literary works can sometimes be better understood by analyzing the piece with a specific literary criticism technique. A few of these literary criticism techniques include Marxist, Formalism, and Reader Response just to name a few. Given Hawthorne’s style of writing and this short story in particular, a reader or critic can benefit from analyzing his work with the Reader Response literary criticism approach. The Bedford Glossary of…show more content…
These individuals include Goody Cloyse, Deacon Gookin and even his own wife Faith. Using the literary critique discussed above, the reader can relate to Goodman Brown and almost feel what he feels as he observes these people in the forest with him. At the beginning of the story Hawthorne somewhat projected Mr. Brown as almost an outcast in his innocent community by taking this journey into the woods. However as his journey continues and he sees other individuals in the dark forest with him Goodman Brown realizes he is not alone. The reader can interpret this a few different ways. First, it could be interpreted that Hawthorne is trying to illustrate that one’s public image may not be exactly what you think it is. This also could be interpreted as the loss of innocence is inevitable at some point in one’s life. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s style of writing provides a solid balance of obvious and subtle symbols, motifs and themes to portray the messages he sends to his audience. The readers of his literary pieces can learn more by going through his short stories applying the Reader Response Critique. This will allow one to relate to the different characters on a personal level and not allow information such as time, location and economic issues to be factored into a reader’s analysis. The reader response criticism certainly is beneficial to readers struggling with

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