In "Young Goodman Brown", how does Goodman Brown view his action in relation to his family history?
There is quite a bit of irony to be read at those references to Goodman Brown's family members. Brown believes that he comes from a long line of faithful and upstanding citizens of the Puritan community and the Devil agrees and brings up two examples examples. He says, "I helped your grandfather, the constable, when he lashed the Quaker woman so smartly throught the streets of Salam." To Brown's ears, the actions of his grandfather are good because Quakers were not of the truth faith and needed to be punished for their practice of their varient religious beliefs. But we as readers recognize that Hawthorne is illustrating the narrow-minded and cruel behavior of the Puritans.
The second example the Devil mentions is that it was he that "brought your father a pitch-pine knot, kindled in my own hearth, to set fire to an Indian village." Again, Brown sees his father's action against the innocent Indians as an appropriate thing because the heathen Indians were "bad," but Hawthorne...
(The entire section contains 2 answers and 621 words.)
check Approved by eNotes Editorial