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In "Young Goodman Brown," what is the point of view, where does it change, and what is...

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mandini2 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 25, 2009 at 1:22 AM via web

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In "Young Goodman Brown," what is the point of view, where does it change, and what is the result of the change?

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gbeatty | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted February 25, 2009 at 2:53 AM (Answer #1)

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"Young Goodman Brown" is told from a third person point of view. It starts with a third person limited, describing Goodman Brown as if observing him objectively from the outside: " YOUNG GOODMAN BROWN came forth at sunset into the street at Salem village; but put his head back, after crossing the threshold, to exchange a parting kiss with his young wife."

However, immediately after that, it moves to a broader perspective, with some narrative commentary on the action. The second sentence says " And Faith, as the wife was aptly named…" This moves  into a more omniscient point of view.


The story stays with limited omniscience through most of the story, but then at the end (in the last paragraph), steps back to a much broader perspective. The result is a change in tone that underscores the story's message and allegorical function.

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