"Young Goodman Brown" - Research Article from Literature and Its Times

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"Young Goodman Brown"

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nathaniel Hawthorne's great -great-grandfather, William Hathorne, immigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630. He Settled in Salem, the colony's oldest town, and became one of Salem's most prominent townsmen. An Indian fighter and a judge, Hathorne in one instance ordered that a burglar's ear be cut off and his forehead branded with the letter Bboth common punishments at that time. During Salem's 1691-1692 witchcraft frenzy, in which many townspeople were accused of being witches, his son, John Hathorne, interrogated suspects such as Martha Corey, who was later hanged as a witch. Corey would become a character in "Young Goodman Brown." The fact that Hawthorne's ancestors had pursued such "evildoers" on behalf of the Puritan faith troubled him. Although there is no evidence for this claim, some have suggested that his ancestors' actions bothered him so much that he changed the spelling...

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This section contains 3,319 words
(approx. 12 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the "Young Goodman Brown" Encyclopedia Article
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"Young Goodman Brown" from Gale. ©2008 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.