Thesis: Everyone wishes to live a good life and often compare themselves to the elite. Although the elite may seem superior to these common people, it is all a deception, because evil is deeply rooted within everyone.
Introduction: Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts, during the 1800’s, which was the heartland of Puritan belief. His ancestors served at the Salem witch trials, which at first were believed to be admirable community services, but were later found to be imposing more harm than good. Young Goodman Brown is a biographical story of Hawthorne, as the main character, Goodman Brown, opens his eyes wider and sees the evil lying within his exemplars. This leads to Goodman Brown’s confusion and then loss of faith as he sides with the devil. Not only is this story biographical for Hawthorne, but it is also applicable to everyday people.
(claim)Even the primary role models, parental figures, have sided with evil.
(proof)The elderly traveler, who is a symbol of the devil, claims to work alongside Goodman Brown’s grandfather as he beat a Quaker woman in public, and his father who set an Indian village on fire.
(commentary)It is the parents who raise us a certain way so we can live a certain way. They are what we are expected to amount to in the future, even greater. We can be just as evil, or even more, in our later years.
The devil is friends with everyone, even the good people.
The elderly traveler was a “general acquaintance” in New England, such as the deacons of many churches, selectmen of divers towns, the Great and General Court, the governor, Goodman Brown’s catechism teacher Goody Cloyse, and other pious people of his congregation.
No one is ideally perfect, although they may appear to be. Everyone is a sinner.
People work hard for the good of the country, their beliefs, or the morality of mankind. On the contrary, the world is based on sinful acts.
Paragraph 65: "Depending upon one another’s hearts, ye had still hoped that virtue were not all a dream. Now are ye undeceived. Evil is the nature of mankind. Evil must be your only happiness. Welcome again, my children, to the communion of your race.”
What a wonderful world that thrives on evil and sin!
... and she replied that I have to analyze the author's craft, and that my thesis had nothing to do with the author's craft. She also said that the piece is an allegory, and I should look up the definition and see how it fits the story. Well... I know what an allegory is because I did a project on the morality play "Everyman," which is also an allegory, but I think that play is much easier than this story because of the... umm... obviousness(?) of the symbols and stuff. ... We were talking more about the assignment today in class, and she only wants an interpretation of one element of the story to write a short paper on. She also said that people have written dissertations about Young Goodman Brown becasue there are SO MANY elements to be focused on... SHEESH! She suggested to write on an element that had the most impact as I read.
Well... there were a few things that made a huge impact on me. There's the little speech that the dark satanic figure gave about how the people of the congregation are looked upon as holy, but in reality are followers of the Devil and sin. Then there's the paragraph about the "bloody baptism into sin," in which Goodman Brown gave into. ... or should I take the easier way out and write about the next morning when Goodman Brown starts acting shady... where I'm left to assume that it was all a dream, but a rude awakening.. or something?
Any suggestions?! I'm soo uncertain at the moment... AHH!!!