Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in 1804 and died in 1864. During his lifetime, he was a lawyer, magazine editor, and author. He is most famous for his novels about New England puritan life, like The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables.
He was born in Salem, Massachusetts, but moved away at a young age. He returned many years later as an adult to work as a government inspector. He observed the changes that had taken place in the region during that time and incorporated this into his stories.
His later writings criticized the puritan beliefs and practices that he believed still existed in New England at the time. His novels also revealed his personal feelings about this past legacy.
In this piece, we will discuss how Hawthorne reveals his feelings about his Puritan ancestors when writing “Young Goodman Brown.
Hawthorne was not religious
Nathaniel Hawthorne was not a religious man, but he had a strong sense of morality. He grew up in a Puritan community, and this experience inspired his most famous short story, “Young Goodman Brown.”
Hawthorne reveals his feelings about his Puritan ancestors in this story. He reveals his disappointment in the way that the community enforced strict rules and punished people who broke them.
He also reveals how he feels about the idea of being saved. Goodman Brown believes that if he performs good deeds, he will be rewarded in the afterlife.
Hawthorne also alludes to the fact that Goodman Brown’s journey is one that happens every night. Hawthorne may have been suggesting that we are all walking down this path of sin every night, and we are all just as guilty as Goodman Brown.
Hawthorne felt guilty about his ancestors
Nathaniel Hawthorne was descended from a line of Puritan ancestors, and this influenced many of his stories. In “Young Goodman Brown,” he reveals his feelings about his Puritan ancestors when he writes about the character Young Goodman Brown.
Hawthorne’s family came to America in the early 17th century, and members of his family were among the first to settle in Salem where the infamous witch trials took place.
He felt that there was a dark side to Puritan values, and that these values still affected people hundreds of years later. In “Young Goodman Brown,” he reveals this by showing how Young Goodman Brown is haunted by what he inherited from his parents and grandparents.
Hawthorne also explores how people can inherit sins from their parents, which is something that happens in “Rappaccini’s Daughter.
Hawthorne contrasts the forest with the church
In “Young Goodman Brown,” Hawthorne contrasts the forest with the church where the marriage takes place. At the beginning of the story, Goodman Brown says he’ll journey to the woods to meet with evil.
Later, when he returns, he says that he saw his wife in the forest and vowed to never enter the forest again. This reveals how Hawthorne feels about nature: It’s a place of evil that we should fear.
Hawthorne was born and raised in Massachusetts, but his family had ancestors who were part of the original Puritan settlers of New England. Many of these relatives were involved in witch trials during this time period.
Hawthorne strongly disagreed with this mentality and how it reflected on nature. By portraying nature as a place full of evil, people did not feel bad for hurting it. This way, they could continue to exploit natural resources for profit and wealth.
Goodman loses his faith in his wife
The most significant part of the story is the way Goodman loses his faith in his wife. Although he sees a great deal of evil in the world, he doesn’t believe that evil exists within his own family.
Hawthorne reveals the deep roots of Goodman’s Puritan beliefs when Goodman loses his faith in his wife. The narrator explains that Goodman had lost “the pure and elevated doctrines which had been instilled into him in his father’s house.”
The only way for Goodman to see what was truly happening around him was if he himself broke a moral code, something that took a long time to happen. It wasn’t until he committed adultery in his mind that everything changed for him.
In this way, Hawthorne reveals some of his own feelings about his ancestors and the Puritan beliefs he grew up with. He also shows how even someone who believes strongly in those things can be shaken by them.
The devil appears as Goodman’s wife
The devil appears as Goodman’s wife, Elizabeth. This may be an indictment of the way Hawthorne’s Puritan ancestors viewed women.
Hawthorne himself was married, but it’s clear that he had issues with women. Many of his stories feature evil or subservient women, and in his personal life, he kept his wife and children separate from his literary life.
Elizabeth was a symbol of all that was wrong with the Puritan culture Hawthorne came from: Her purity was a sham; she deceived her husband and everyone else; she was a threat to his spiritual (and possibly physical) health; and she made him late to Midnight Meeting.
By making her appear as the devil, Hawthorne also reveals how little respect he had for traditional female roles in society—a fact that would have been obvious to his contemporaries, even if they didn’t know him personally.
The devil leads Goodman to sin
Goodman Brown is a young man who lives in Salem, Massachusetts. He is a devout Calvinist, believing that people are either saved or condemned, and that only a few are saved.
Goodman believes that people must improve their lives by working hard and avoiding sin to be among the saved. He also believes in predestination, or the idea that God has already decided whether someone is saved or not.
Hawthorne uses Goodman as a vehicle to reveal his feelings about his Puritan ancestors. Goodman represents Hawthorne’s view of the average Puritan: too strict and moralistic.
By sending Goodman into a forest to meet the devil, Hawthorne shows that he thinks all of those preceding generations were leading people astupidly into sin. Goodman does not actually meet the devil; instead he meets evil incarnate in the form of his own wife and friends who have turned away from God.
Goodman represents all of us
In this short story, Hawthorne reveals his feelings about his Puritan ancestors when he uses Young Goodman Brown as a symbol for all of us.
Hawthorne himself had ancestors who were Puritans, and he was born and raised in Salem where the witch trials took place. He knew his history, and he didn’t like it.
He saw the strict rules set by the elders of the community as a form of oppression. By telling us that Goodman Brown went to meet the devil, Hawthorne is telling us that we are all slaves to our culture’s rules.
We are all good people trying to do what’s right, but we’re being controlled by those who have power over us. This is very depressing, but it is also very true. We can’t all go down to the woods at night to meet the devil, but we can feel that something isn’t right in our lives.
The story illustrates how religion can be harmful
Hawthorne was not raised in a religious home, and his family line was not particularly devout. He grew up in a secluded area of Massachusetts where the Puritan influence was strong.
He may have internalized some negative feelings about religion as a result of this environment.
In his short story “Young Goodman Brown,” he reveals his feelings about the religion of his ancestors when he writes about a young man who experiences a religious awakening, only to discover that it was all an illusion.
Hawthorne emphasizes how the character’s belief in a “higher power” is true, but that this “higher power” is actually himself. He also points out how people use religion to control each other, and how this can be harmful.