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Example research essay topic: Young Goodman Brown - 595 words

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In short stories, I have learned that there is much more than what at*BR* first meets the eye. Almost everything in the story has meaning. All I*BR* have to do is try to find the hints and clues the writer drops and*BR* manage to put them all together. I have to concentrate more than I ever*BR* have so that I can interpret the authors meaning and what he or she*BR* might really be trying to convey in the writing. In "Young Goodman*BR* Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, I determined that through diverse*BR* symbolism, Hawthorne writes of a man who in his coming of age learns*BR* that there is a darkness in everyone and upon this coming of knowledge,*BR* From the start, Hawthorne describes Goodman Brown as a good Puritan who*BR* is devoted to his wife ^Faith,' whose name he uses like a shield for his*BR* soul. At the beginning of his walk through the woods, Brown runs into*BR* the Devil who tries to convert him; this is shown by the Devil's*BR* offering of the staff to Brown. The Devil goes on to say that Brown's*BR* family has had dealings with evil in the past; examples used are the*BR* Salem witch trials and the killing of Indian non-combatants. This may*BR* be Hawthornes way of dealing with guilt he might have felt over his own*BR* forbears' actions during those times. Brown goes on to say that he*BR* could not bear the shame of betraying his faith while the Devil is*BR* naming people known and respected by Brown to try to show him that it*BR* wouldn't really be that bad if Brown joined the witches' coven.

When*BR* Goody Cloyse is encountered, Brown learns how she truly feels about him;*BR* also, Goody Cloyse freely takes up the Devil's staff. Proud of himself*BR* for denying the Devil, while again using his wife's name to strengthen*BR* his resolve, Brown discovers that his respected Minister, Deacon Gookin,*BR* and even the Indians are all servants of the Devil. When Brown learns*BR* that his wife has given into the temptation of the Devil, the Christian*BR* belief he is struggling to keep is shaken from him. "My Faith is gone!"*BR* "There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name. Come, devil! for to*BR* thee is this world given." This shows that the most important thing in*BR* Christianity, his faith, is lost. Throughout the night, Brown finds out*BR* more than he ever wanted to know about how his fellow Puritan townsmen*BR* have betrayed their faith by giving in to their darker desires, he even*BR* feels his father urging him onward to do the same.

All that he learns*BR* in the night is too much for him, and it changes a devoted husband with*BR* bright hopes and a wife whom he loves to a tired, beaten, questioning*BR* Hawthorne uses symbolism to write a story that is open and ambiguous to*BR* interpretation. For myself, I believe it is about Hawthorne himself who*BR* is growing up in a time when many Puritan children are leaving the*BR* Puritan faith. There are many times in the story when he is questioning*BR* his faith by listing the examples of religeous infractions by his*BR* peers. For all this, it is a wonder Hawthorn was not eaten by the*BR* despair and guilt he lets Goodman Brown feel.*BR* Bibliography:.

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Research essay sample on Young Goodman Brown

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