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Not only is almost everyone Goodman Brown meets very duplicitous, but even objects take on a dual nature.For instance, the staff that the man Goodman Brown meets carries (a man who, oddly enough, is a dual Goodman Brown in appearance—he just happens to be older) is both a staff and a snake that twists and seems to “wriggle itself like a living serpent." For this essay on “Young Goodman Brown" look at the role duplicity plays and consider the ways in which these dual characteristics of people and objects serves as an extended set of metaphors.
Assuming that Young Goodman Brown was not simply dreaming, the names are all ironic because they reflect characteristics that are not present.
Thesis Statement / Essay Topic #3: “Young Goodman Brown" and Complimentary Themes Found in Other Works By Nathaniel Hawthorne One of the best ways to consider many of the themes in “Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is to look it in the context of his other works.
This is especially interesting considering what the old man tells Young Goodman Brown of his father and his lineage.
Equally worthy of note (and along similar lines) is the name “Goody" for the old woman or “Faith" for his wife.
These thesis statements for “Young Goodman Brown” offer a summary of different elements that could be important in an essay but you are free to add your own analysis and understanding of the plot or themes to them.
Using the essay topics below in conjunction with the list of important quotes from “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne at the bottom of the page, you should have no trouble connecting with the text and writing an excellent paper.
Also, there are a number of symbols and rich examples of imagery (especially when used as metaphors) throughout the text to consider and looking at the representation of women (as either completely evil and witch-like or completely good and wholesome).
One more essay idea might be to examine the way the forest and the natural world in “Young Goodman Brown" function as an actual character with motivations, moods, and an independent will.
Using elements from essay question 1, consider the role and importance of names in this text.
For instance, the title character “Goodman Brown" has a name that at first suggests innocence and the will to do good (good-man) yet the last name—Brown suggests something that is darkened or otherwise soiled.