2 Feb 2011

"Young Goodman Brown", by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Hello everybody,

I've just finished reading your comments on Hawthorne's short stories. Thank you for all your contributions. I must admit I've been surprised by the depth of some of them. Well done! I didn't know some of you were such literary critics! :)

Once you've read the stories, reflected on them, made a comment and read your classmates' contributions, I think it's time to discuss the real meaning and symbolism of the stories in class. We'll start with "Young Goodman Brown", which is undoubtably the most obscure and difficult to understand.

I'm going to post several links below. I want you to read the information carefully and prepare the answers to some questions: I want everybody to participate when we discuss the story in class.

The original story: Rubén was suggesting it would be a good idea to have the original story: surely the characters and events will be described better. Click on Download PDF and it will automatically be saved in your computer. Don't forget that the story was written in the 19th century, so the English used is slightly different from contemporary English.

The plot: if you don't have time to read the whole story again, or simply if you prefer to read something slightly different, read this summary of the plot. You can also watch the silent film below:

Character analysis: here you have an analysis of the three main characters in the story: Goodman Brown, Faith and the Old Man.

Symbolism: click here for an explanation of the main themes, motifs and symbols in the story. This might be the most interesting document.

Now, I'd like you to prepare an answer for the following questions:
  • Who do you think the dark figure in the forest was? Can the dark figure be any other of the characters in the story?
  • What did Goodman Brown learn in the forest?
  • Why do you think Goodman Brown didn't speak to the people of the town the next day?
  • Why do you think Goodman Brown's "last hour was very sad and hopeless"?
  • Why do you think Hawthorne called Goodman Brown's wife Faith?
  • The story was written in the 19th century, but do you think it can still have present-day relevance? If so, in what sense?
  • Can you think of a different interpretation of the story?
We'll discuss this in class on the 9th/10th February, so you have a whole week to read the documents and prepare your answers :)

1 comment:

  1. Uou, now we have a lot of documents in many different supports!!
    I think they are very useful.
    Thank you for all.