How does Hawthorne illustrate hypocrisy in "Young Goodman Brown" of the Puritans? Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown"
Regardless of whether Goodman's Brown's encounter with the devil is real or simply a vision, the implications of this vision would represent an indictment on Puritanical displays of self righteousness, given the scale to which the human condition is mired in sin. Moral hypocrisy is thus a critical theme in "Young Goodman Brown."
One of the most powerful passages, one which relates to the entire history of colonial Puritanism, emerges early on within the story, when the devil relates to Brown the following words:
I have been as well acquainted with your family as with ever a one among the Puritans; and that's no trifle to say. I helped your grandfather, the constable, when he lashed the Quaker woman so smartly through the streets of Salem; and it was I that brought your father a pitch-pine knot, kindled at my own hearth, to set fire to an Indian village, in King Philip's War.
As the devil says shortly afterwards:
I have a very general acquaintance here in New England. The deacons of many a...
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