Presentation on theme: "Young Goodman Brown Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)"— Presentation transcript:
Young Goodman Brown Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)
Nathaniel Hawthorne Novelist and short story writer, a central figure in the American Renaissance best-known works include The Scarlet Letter (1850) and The House of Seven Gables (1851) Obsessed with the effects of Puritanism in New England, with the dark side of human nature, with themes of sin, guilt and secrecy, and intellectual and moral pride. (1804-1864)
Hawthorne’s life (1) Born in Salem, Mass. Descendant of prominent New England Puritans William – passed sentence on Quakers William’s son – a judge in the Salem witchcraft trial of 1692 Grandfather – a Revolutionary War hero Father – a sea captain who died of yellow fever when Hawthorne was four years old
Hawthorne’s life (2) Mother lived a secluded life after his father’s death, which influenced her son’s solitary attitude Hawthorne spent most of his early years in Salem in a solitary fashion, starting to write here after college graduation In 1842 Hawthorne became friends with the Transcendentalists in Concord, Emerson and Thoreau, who also drew on the Puritan legacy.
Hawthorne’s life (3) At the Bowdoin College (1821-24), among his friends were Longfellow and Franklin Pierce, who became the 14th president of the United States. Hawthorne was unable to earn a living as a writer and in 1846 he was appointed surveyor of the Port of Salem. Hawthorne died on May 19, 1864, in Plymouth, New Hampshire on a trip to the mountains with his friend Franklin Pierce.
Major short stories Among Hawthorne's most widely anthologized stories are 'Young Goodman Brown' (1835) ‘The Black Minister’s Veil’ (1836) 'The Birthmark' (1843) 'Rappaccini's Daughter' (1844) Twice-Told Tales (1837) 《重述的故事》 Mosses from an Old Manse (1846) 《古宅青 苔》
Major long fictions The Scarlet Letter (1850) 《红字》 The House of Seven Gables (1851) 《带有七个尖角 阁的房子》 The Blithedale Romance (1852) 《福谷传奇》 The Marble Faun (1860) 《玉石雕像》
Features of Hawthorne’s Stories Romantic elements - sensibility: feelings vs. rationality - mysticism: unseen forces, spirits - adventure in the past to an ideal place or in quest of enemies - melancholy / morbid - individual feelings vs. the society Obsession with the dark side of human nature : repressing effect of Puritanism on people, guilt, sin, secrecy Hate / Fear of intolerance, hypocrisy, incapacity for human sympathy as the pride-ridden scientist is inclined to Ambiguity : optional readings; uncertainty
Young Goodman Brown Setting - Salem, MA around 1690s; night in the forest Character - Goodman Brown; elder traveler, Faith Narration - Omniscient narrator, more telling than showing Conflict - man and nature? man and society? man and him/herself? Theme - An exploration of human nature? Mental disease as a result of the suppression of the society? Problem of one’s personality? Atmosphere - gloomy Language: formal
Setting New England colonies - Puritans - 1620 Plymouth Mayflower Compact - 1630 Massachusetts Bay Colony Boston, Charlestown Puritanism – Calvinistic doctrines - Original Sin - Predestination - God's unconditional election
Historical-biographical considerations (1) Puritan New England: - King William’s reign (1688-1702) (p.26) - persecution of the Quakers by Brown’s grandfather (the 1660s) (p.27) - King Philip’s War (1675-1676), in which Brown’s father participated (p.27) - Salem, Boston, Connecticut, and Rhode Island - ministers, elders, meetinghouses, communion tables, saints, selectmen (p.28), and lecture days
Historical-biographical considerations (2) Puritanism - Calvinism - God’s supremacy - man’s helplessness and sinfulness - distinction between the elect and the damned - predestination
Historical-biographical considerations (3) Witchcraft and Satanism Witches, witchcraft and an incarnate Devil were realities to New Englanders of this period. - dialogue between Goodly Cloyse and the Devil (ll.16-32, p.29) - a satanic worship / witches’ Sabbath attended by witches, devils, and lost souls (ll.12-20, p.31; ll.21-19, pp.33-36) - Hawthorne’s great-grandfather was a judge in the Salem witch trials of 1692
Historical-biographical considerations (4) Suppression and Intolerance of Puritanism - lashing of the Quakers - slaughtering of the Indians - persecution of the “witches” Goody Cloyse (p.28) Goody Cory (p.29)
Discussion Questions for Young Goodman Brown
Questions 1.What is the significance of the setting? 2.What dramatic change happens to Goodman Brown? Why the change? 3.What is the theme of the story? 4.What are some of the major symbols?
Goodman Brown’s Change From a good man to a bad man - from a faithful Christian who loves his wife and his neighbour to a person who becomes disgusted with everybody in his doubts about his own faith as well as his fellow townspeople’s faith From happy to unhappy - anxious about man’s salvation in general if sin is so prevalent in human nature; human hypocrisy - unbalanced in mind Why the change? - losing faith in God, losing hope for salvation - intolerance of the Puritan society: hypocrisy; losing balance of the mind
Significance of the Setting 1.Explains why Brown is so curious about and concerned with the hidden sin in people 2.Intolerance of Puritanism is largely responsible for the hypocrisy of the townspeople 3.Suppression of the Puritanism leads to Brown’s unbalanced mentality
Structuralist approach: Plot prototype Gothic tale : supernaturalism and horror - spirit-haunted habitations, diabolical villains, secret doors and passageways, terrifying and mysterious sounds and happenings - workings of the evil in a person Faust legend : - a bargain with the Devil for some desirable thing - man’s courage to challenge the limit and explore the unknown world
Moral-philosophical considerations An allegory : a narrative in which each character represents an abstract moral quality of human beings at large. Brown is Everyman. Faith is religious belief. Brown’s fellow traveler and his Staff represents Satan / the evil force in general. Brown’s story is every man’s experience. His contemplation or exploration of human nature reveals our common problem in life.
The Psychological approach “Young Goodman Brown”: Id versus Superego Superego (Conscience) - village: A place of light and order (social and moral / spiritual order) - Faith: Projection of a part of Brown’s psyche Ego - Brown Id - Forest: A place of darkness and unknown terrors - Satan: Projection of another part of Brown’s psyche
Imbalance in Brown’s Psyche Brown’s id gains the upper hand. He yields to the wild evil in the heart of darkness and becomes “himself the chief horror of the scene” (p.32). “In truth, all through the haunted forest there could be nothing more frightful than the figure of Goodman Brown …” (p.32-33) Cf. resemblance between the elder traveler and Goodman Brown (p.26)
Themes: symbolic meanings of the journey to the forest A journey bravely taken for more knowledge of the unknown / dark world A journey of discovery of the evil nature of human beings: - Brown becomes a misanthrope - Brown is anxious about people’s salvation The inner workings of an imbalanced mind under the suppression of the Puritanical society
Assignments for Walt Whitman Read Whitman’s poems in the textbook. Which poem do you like better? And why? Identify amazing / unique images, metaphors, lines, etc. and explain why you think they are amazing. Imitate one of the poems to write a poem of your own. Paraphrase a stanza of the poems and compare in detail the different effects between the original stanza and your paraphrase, such as the sound, rhythm, image, tone, style, theme, etc. Think about the questions in the textbook.
67 Success is counted sweetest By those who ne ’ er succeed. To comprehend a nectar Requires sorest need. Not one of all the purple Host Who took the Flag today Can tell the definition So clear of Victory As he defeated – dying – On whose forbidden ear The distant strains of triumph Burst agonized and clear!
288 I ’ m Nobody! Who are you? Are you – Nobody – Too? Then there ’ s a pair of us? Don ’ t tell! they ’ d advertise – you know! How dreary – to be – Somebody! How public – like a Frog – To tell one ’ s name – the livelong June – To an admiring Bog!