I am trying to write a thesis statement for a thousand word essay on"Young Goodman Brown." I want to write about how the character Brown reflects the past of Hawthorne and what parts of the short story I can use to prove my thesis.
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You also might like to compare the way that Goodman Brown's life after his walk into the forest bears an eerie resemblance to that of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Although he had everthing going for him, in terms of wealth, good looks and a beautiful wife, his life was overshadowed by his realisations about the human psyche and how tainted with sin it was. The hypocrisy that he saw as being inextricably intertwined with the human condition and is featured in so many of his tales had the effect of leeching joy out of his life.
If I recall correctly, one of Hawthorne's ancestors was a figure who had a major role in persecuting witches. I believe this troubled Hawthorne greatly and probably helped influence the composition about coming to hasty judgment of others, especially regarding witchcraft. Here's a link that may point you in the direction of helpful information:
Oh, that's interesting. As additional background, you might also refer to "The Custom House," the preface to Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter, in which he remarks on his Puritan ancestors. In "Young Goodman Brown," the portion in which the stranger in the woods, with a staff, tells Young Goodman that he knew Goodman's father and grandfather is a good starting place:
"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. They were my good friends, both; and many a pleasant walk have we had along this path, and returned merrily after midnight. I would fain be friends with you for their sake."
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