Young Goodman Brown | Critical Essay by Walter J. Paulits

This literature criticism consists of approximately 9 pages of analysis & critique of Young Goodman Brown.
This section contains 2,509 words
(approx. 9 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Walter J. Paulits

SOURCE: "Ambivalence in 'Young Goodman Brown'," in American Literature, Vol. XLI, No. 4, January, 1970, pp. 577-84.

In the following essay, Paulits characterizes Hawthorne's tale as one in which the dominant theme is the ambivalence of the human heart when presented with a choice between good and evil.

My hope in this article is that a discussion of ambivalence and of its concomitants of temptation and deception may provide the still-missing clue to the interpretation of the intent of "Young Goodman Brown." I am distinguishing sharply between ambiguity and ambivalence. Ambiguity is concerned with intermingled meanings—the double meanings in the witches' prophecies to Macbeth or Fedallah's to Ahab, or the amphibologies in Quince's Prologue to "Pyramus and Thisbe" in Midsummer Night's Dream or its antecedent in Ralph Roister Doister. Ambivalence is concerned with opposed feelings within the same...

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This section contains 2,509 words
(approx. 9 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Walter J. Paulits