Young Goodman Brown Essay

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Morsberger is an educator, editor, andnonfic-tion writer. In the following essay, he contends that Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" is "our most effective literary work in recreating the atmosphere in which the witchcraft hysteria" of the Salem Puritans occurred.

Hawthorne, if any one, was equipped to write the definitive novel on the Salem witchcraft delusion; but he never confronted it head on. "Alice Doane's Appeal" conjures up the victims from the graveyard, Grandfather's Chair and "Main Street" give the barest bones of a synopsis, "Sir William Phips" merely hints at it, and The House of the Seven Gables fictionalizes its heritage of guilt. But nowhere does Hawthorne give the dramatic account in depth of the trial and tragedy of Rebecca Nurse, George Burroughs, John Proctor, Giles Corey, George Jacobs and the other courageous victims, nor the damnable game of the "afflicted" girls, the admission of spectral evidence by autocratic...

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This section contains 2,672 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Young Goodman Brown Study Guide
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Young Goodman Brown from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.