Young Goodman Brown and The Monster

A comparison of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown with Stephen Crane’s “The Monster”.

This paper examines the issue of transformation in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown and Stephen Crane’s “The Monster”. The paper discusses how the main characters of these stories both make transformations and how the communities in each story undergo a transformation from one extreme to the next. The paper also highlights the presence of “evil” and the “monster” in both works, and notes that while the Hawthorne story depicts the fear and ignorance of one man, the Crane story portrays the prison of fear and ignorance that seize an entire community.
“Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthone is a tale of one man’s loss of faith because of the suspicions that float in the air about the occult in Puritan New England. This story has been imitated in theme and form because of the issues it raises about man’s inner struggles with faith and desire.”Hawthorne dealt with a fictive world, but at the same time explored what Henry James would call later “the deeper psychology of art.” He was the one of the few American writers of his day to focus on the internal workings of his characters and seek to explore their relationship to sin, guilt, anguish and suffering” (Ganjvar 3) A secondary issue though is the idea of evil spirits, witches and devil worship that were a common topic of discussion in early America. Puritan New England was awash with prejudice, fascination and fear and adherence to uncompromising religious standards, which Hawthorne made famous in his classic work “The Scarlet Letter”.”