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Young Goodman Brown and Other Short Stories

Young Goodman Brown and Other Short Stories


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Choice collection of short fiction by one of the masters of the genre. In addition to the title story, this volume includes "The Birthmark," "Rappaccini’s Daughter," "Roger Malvin’s Burial," "The Artist of the Beautiful," "Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment" and "My Kinsman, Major Molineux." Tales deal with scientific experiment, witchcraft, revenge, more.

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Denial = Insanity

Young Goodman Brown is an intriguing short story about a young Puritan man existing in a self-righteous miasma who discovers the true motivations behind the hypocritical facade of the towns people surrounding him. On All Hallow's Eve, he must leave his wife "Faith" {recognized as symbolic of his own allegorical belief}behind to venture into the vast untamed wilderness {represents the dark subconscious, akin to "The Great Abyss"} amidst wild beasts and savage Indians*. He eventually holds concert with The Devil {perhaps representative of his own guilty conscience within the Judeo-Christian myth's paradigm} in the forest, where The Devil attempts to persuade him to The Sabbath, but Brown is determined to remain in the good graces of his "God", upholding the perceived honor of his ancestors - yet to his horror, discovers and witnesses that the very same men and women he admires most in the past and present fir their piety, are themselves in league with Lucifer, and have been for centuries. For instance, the elderly Goody Cloyse {she who had schooled him in catechism, now considering him a "silly fellow"}, an apparently staunch Puritan matriarch, appears in the forest to inform his "worship" [sic] that her broom has disappeared despite her knowledge of the ingredients to make the broom fly, including "baby fat", as is the classic claim born of hysteric legendry, as invented by various dramatic writers and Christian propagandists of the time. The Infernal Gentleman graciously lends her His own serpentine staff to usher her forth safely into the night to the ceremonial grounds. Traveling on, Goodman Brown witnesses clergyman Deacon Gookin he admired so well, riding his horse astride with The Prince of Darkness, salaciously laughing it up about the night;s initiate, a nubile young lady. To his horror, he later realizes that she who is to be initiated is his precious wife Faith, as is made evident in one maddening sequence, in which he tears violently through the forest lamenting his apparent loss, subsequently finding falling pink ribbons {representing "purity" and innocence"; translate: ignorance}. His visage ironically resembles that of a fearsome beast {see Satanic Statement #7}, more terrible than those who inhabit the woods, as he comes closer to himself as the beast in man. As if in a dream, he finds his way to The Sabbath, where Satan appears in a plume of sulphurous flame amidst an Altar and arc of rock, calling forth the converts**. Before him, Brown recognizes prominent persons of all persuations of good and ill-repute celebrating the diabolic mass together. During His Sinister Sermon, Satan recognizes the true nature of man is that of 'evil', no matter how much one tries to deny it, offering historical proof of such. Brown's delusions are shattered, awakening the next morning, as if his eyes were finally opened to the undefiled truth. Consequently, Young Goodman Brown refused to aknowledge man's true selfish nature, thus becoming pa

Virtue vs. vice and fabulous storytelling

An incredible bargain and wonderful tales to boot, vice and virtue were never more complex or interwoven as in these Hawthorne tales. All of his stories speak to the irreversible errors of man, well not altogether irreversible. There is redemption and resolve but not for all his characters. If you are looking for spiritually driven fabulously intriguing stories, look no further. Edgar Allan Poe has a fierce rival.

The Artist's consciousness...the soul's examination...

Nathaniel Hawthorne, as a writer and artist, has aunique effect upon me as the reader. I am a bit put offby his keep-your-distance...this is my stage, my characters,my may observe, learn, but not participateas experiencer...approach. Thus he is the master artist,displaying his wares...and they are wondrous. The othereffect of Hawthorne upon me, is that I seem to feel thathis works are as carefully crafted, visualized, andfatefully fulfilled (using all the motifs, symbols,and foreshadowing--as well as irony, psychologicalinsight, and artistic deftness of creative imaginationand clever nuance) as Wagner's operas. Though "YoungGoodman Brown" seems a bit (just a bit,) too blatantwith the symbols and allegory, yet there is somethingalso immensely satisfying and complete in the intricateway in which all the parts fit together. "The Artist ofthe Beautiful," for me, is the supreme creation in thiscollection of stories. It is Hawthorne's insights, both about humanpsychology and artistic awareness and limitation, thatamaze and please me. Here is an excerpt from the hauntingtale, "The Birthmark," in which a perfectionist husbandattempts to remove a small birthmark from his wife'scheek so she will be completely perfect. The husbandis Aylmer; his wife is Georgiana. The wife chances uponthe volumes which Aylmer has, and one of them is a recordof all of his own experiments. "But to Georgiana, the most engrossing volume was a large folio from herhusband's own hand, in which he had recorded everyexperiment of his scientific career, its original aim,the methods adopted for its development, and its finalsuccess or failure.... The book, in truth, was both thehistory and emblem of his ardent, ambitious, imaginative,yet practical and laborious life. He handled physicaldetails as if there were nothing beyond them; yet spiritualized them all, and redeemed himself from materialism by his strong and eager apiration towardsthe infinite. In his grasp the veriest clod of earthassumed a soul. * * * The volume rich with achievements that had won renown for its author, was yet as melancholya record as ever mortal hand had penned. It was the sadconfession and continual exemplification of theshortcomings of the composite man, the spirit burdenedwith clay and working in matter, and of the despair that assails the higher nature at finding itself so miserably thwarted by the earthly part. Perhaps everyman of genius, in whatever sphere, might recognize theimage of his own experience in Aylmer's journal."The greatness of that insight is that it not onlyapplies to Aylmer, but it also obviously is somethingwhich Hawthorne as an artist of the imaginationhad grappled with himself -- while still having to livein the practical world of matter, being assaulted byits harassments, sicknesses, weakenings, dangers,limits...and being forced to scratch out something by theway of making a living for himself and his dependents.Yet he feels somehow compromised and humiliated b

A potent sampling of Hawthorne's tales

"Young Goodman Brown and Other Short Stories" brings together 7 tales by the great United States author Nathaniel Hawthorne. These stories date from the 1830s and 1840s, and reveal Hawthorne, well-known today as a novelist, to be a talented practitioner of the short story genre.These are stories of weird science, romantic and professional obsession, thwarted love, witchcraft, guilt, and the quest for beauty. Irony and tragedy mark many of the tales. Hawthorne takes us from the rugged American frontier to a sunlit Italian garden. The title story is a strangely compelling evocation of the Salem Puritans and their obsession with Satanic conspiracies. Also impressive is "Roger Malvin's Burial," a devastating psychological tale.If the only Hawthorne you know is the author of the justly-celebrated "Scarlet Letter," check out this collection. Overall, this book is a good choice both for classroom use and individual reading.

A good, meaningful short story

Having to read and compare Young Goodman Brown to The Crucible as a school assignment first seemed like a chore at first. But after understanding the story and being able to analyze it, it really is a great story although somewhat confusing in the beginning. If you'd like a little backround, Young Goodman Brown is about a Puritan man who takes a walk into the woods and finds himself talking to the devil.

Edition Details

Publisher:Dover Publications
Lowest Price:$3.59
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