Is there a "lesson" to be learned from "Young Goodman Brown"?  Many years after the main action described in the story, Goodman Brown's "dying hour was gloom"?

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There certainly is a lesson to be learned from "Young Goodman Brown." Hawthorne was using an extreme example to illustrate the fact that there is good and bad in every human being. We should not accept other people at face value. Many people who seem honest and friendly have ulterior motives. Some people who are actually wicked and dangerous manage to hide their true natures behind masks of innocence and benevolence. The fact that Young Goodman Brown's "dying hour was gloom," was only due to the fact that he had sustained such a horrible disillusionment about humanity on the night that Hawthorne describes in his story. Humanity hasn't changed since Hawthorne's time.


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