111 T/TH 9:30 am”. . . it is no delusion.
There is an Unpardonable Sin!” , a quoteby Ethan Brand that is at the root of many stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Nathaniel Hawthornes gloomy, dark style of writing is an emphasis on his themeof evil at societies heart. Writing about what he knew Hawthorne described thepuritan society in different periods of time and defined different charactersbut all connected through his style. The stories that exemplify the diversityof Hawthornes writing are “Young Goodman Brown” , ” Ethan Brand” , and “TheBirthmark” .
Having read these stories it is possible to become engrossed inthe darkness that is portrayed and none is better than “Young Goodman Brown” . Young Goodman Brown, the character, is first introduced to us in the clearing ofSalem village and we learn that he has faith in the goodness of the village andFaith for his companion as well. The people that we meet in Salem village inthe first few paragraphs are just Goodman and Faith. These two characters arevery important to understand for their surface characters or illusionalcharacters. It is soon learned that Goodman Brown is not such a good man andlater Faith shows us just as much false character. Goodman and Faith are notthe only characters that are not all they seem to be.
We come to meet morecharacters in the short story that are superficial as is the village itself. Goodman Brown leaves the bright, warm, goodness of his village to make a journeyin the woods to meet a stranger. A good place to meet a stranger would bethese surrounding woods of Salem for it is here that described by NathanielHawthorne that “He had taken a dreary road,darkened by all the gloomiest treesof the forest, which barely stood aside to let the narrow path creep through,and closed immediately behind. ” and like the scheming mind of an evil personthe dark woods leads one down the wrong pathway. The woods are not an allusion as was the village, the woods areexactly what they seem to be therefore the characters met inside the woods willbe as shady as the woods themselves. Leading Goodman Brown to his despair isthe first character, the stranger.
The stranger is much older than the Goodmanbut the two converse easily and both understand each other even though theytalk around Goodmans evil purpose. It is this easy conversation that Hawthornewrites to us about Goodmans evil. Though Goodman Brown believes himself to bealone in his journey down the trail the stranger tells him that it is a beatenpath and has been taken even by his father. So does the world that has beenbuilt up around Goodman Brown begin to crumble and with the first blow he isset up for more devastation into the world of the devil.
” Wickedness or not,I have a very general acquaintance here in New England. ” The devilish strangerexplains how even the noblest of people have an evil in their character andthose who hide are those who are trusted the most. Many of these charactersthat the stranger knows are companions of the Goodman and these are GoodyCloyce ,the Deacon, the other patriots of Salem, and even his own wife Faithwho he sees worshiping in the woods behind a hazy fire. By telling the story ofa devil worshiping town in Salem, which is already known for its witch scare,Hawthorne tries to convey his beliefs that in all of humanity there can and isevil. For those who believe themselves to be good are not and those who do notare.
” Ethan Brand” is a different sort of story that will take place inthe side of a mountain where a man and his son and one particular a llimekilnstoaker enter the scene. Visualized to us by Hawthorne Bartram and his son aresitting by the kiln, Bartram the steady worker burns limestone and talks to hisson about Ethan Brand. Ethan Brand is a mystery and is representative of thepeople who are not understood or who may be the outcasts of society. EthanBrand was a mystery to his townspeople who by leaving the daily routine oflife and discontinuing