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A Freudian Reading of Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown Essay

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A Freudian Reading of Young Goodman Brown

 
     Incredibly, Nathaniel Hawthorne, wrote about concepts that Freud clinically proved later on. Much like Freud, Hawthorne analyzes in his tale Young Goodman Brown the same premises for which Freud is the epitome. Thus, one encounters the issues of the opposite effect that social restraint has on society, despite its purpose, as well as the unconsciousness versus consciousness in this text, together with their crucial parts - the id, superego and ego, and the issues of the libido.

            Freud concluded that many of people's desires and memories are repressed because of the powerful social taboos attached to certain sexual impulses. In cases of extreme repression, the worst outcome happens. Goodman's desire becomes obsession (Hawthorne 144). Hence, disgusted by and despising social restrain due to the Puritan taboos about natural impulses, comes Hawthorne's premise (much like Freud's) that social restraint makes people rebel against their natural instincts later in life. Therefore, different individuals choose the wrong path in life or live restless in imbalance for the rest of their lives with uncertainty. Analogous and pertaining to the previous premise, Goodman Brown's superego overpowers his id, and as a result he manages to resist the diabolical side of life, yet he still lives the rest of his life in a psychological unrest and confusion. Perhaps by restating the ultimate consequence of the tyrannous superego dominating the id, the author tries to make sure once again that the reader comprehends the seriousness of (which underlines) the ultimate negative effect social restrain has on an individual.

            Goodman Brown's journey to the diabolical forest sy...


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Apseloff, Stanford and Apseloff, Marilyn. "'Young Goodman Brown': The Goodman." American Notes and Queries, 20 (1982): 7-8.

Connoly, Thomas E. American Literature, XXVIII, 370-75.

Easterley, Joan Elizabeth. "Lachrymal imagery in Hawtorne's 'Young Goodman Brown'." Studies in Short Fiction, Summer91, Vol.28 Issue 3, p339, 5p.

Ellis, Robert. "Young Goodman Brown." Master Plots II. Ed. Frank Magill. 5 vols. New York: Salem Press, 1986. 5: 2737-40.

Fogle, Richard, H. Hawthorn's Fiction: The Light and the Dark. Oklahoma. University of Oklahoma Press, 1964.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. "Young Goodman Brown" An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Ed. Alison Reeves. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1995.

Shear, Walter. "Cultural fate and social freedom in three American short stories." Studies in Short Fiction, fall 92, Vol. 29 Issue 4, p543, 7p.

 

 


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