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Essay on The Value of Dreams in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

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Young Goodman Brown:  The Value of Dreams

Young Goodman Brown   The Birthmark   Nathaniel Hawthorne's stories "Young Goodman Brown" and "The Birthmark" both make use of dreams to affect the story and reveal the central characters. With each story, the dreams presented are extremely beneficial to the development of the story as they give the reader a new view of the plot itself, or the characters within. At the same time, however, it becomes difficult to determine how much of the dream has been affected by the character, and how much is pure fantasy. This is true with Young Goodman Brown, who cannot determine whether the events in his life actually occurred, or if they simply were created in his troubled mind while he slept. In "The Birthmark," Aylmer too is haunted by his night-time musings as he dreams of mutilating his wife in order to rid her of a small birthmark. This small detail later turns out to foreshadow the conclusion of the story, while giving readers further insight into his diabolical nature. Dreams thusly play an important developmental role in the explica...


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...he beauty of his bride, which is, at least, unsettling, until his dream of butchering Georgianna is revealed. Troubled, too is Young Goodman Brown, who can not determine whether or not the incredible visions of the previous night were real. As a precaution, he avoids contact with the dream-related peole and lives the remainder of his life alone, but surrounded by those who were once his friends, associates, and family. As evidenced by these two short stories, we can see the important role that dreams can play in the effective telling of a tale.

 


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