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Essay Importance of Dreaming in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

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The Importance of Dreaming in Young Goodman Brown  


    Minuscule, barely-recognizable waves emanate from the center of the pastor’s glass of water with every increasingly solid thud of fists upon wooden podium. Blood rushes to his head with every beat of his heart to fuel the rampid, raging fire within his mind. Louder and louder the minister’s voice rose ‘till it seemed as though the heavens themselves could make out a faint whisper of the good news. The good news being told that glad morning told of a man who insisted upon harboring guilt, shame, and fear inside his heart. It told of a man whose heart resembled that of a man sitting two rows back of the alter in that very sanctuary. The story, having done its job, had already penetrated that lonely, dreadful heart long before, when the pastor still held fast to his wits. The poor man simply sat, hunched over, his Bible resting upon his leg, starring at the glass of water on the podium as if losing count of the ripples might cost him his salvation. All around him sat the aristocracy of the town; the rich, the confident, the beautiful, the holy, the righteous, and the rest of the Christian faith. Deeply in listful dream, the young man contemplated the words of the minister and their pertinence to himself. Over and over, these words pierced and jabbed at his heart, urging him to repent of his sinful desires he’d encountered just days before. Suddenly, seemingly without warning, all his fellow churchmates rose to their feet and began to sing. It was the last hymn of the morning! Awakened from his transient slumber, he too stood to his feet to praise his God.

Doubtlessly, all across the country men and women sit amongst fellow followers in the same state of mind, questio...


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...any women and men find themselves contemplating their own repentance and salvation in capricious slumber. Certainly, Young Goodman Brown is no exception!

Works Cited and Consulted

Benoit, Raymond.  "'Young Goodman Brown': The Second Time Around."  The Nathaniel Hawthorne Review 19 (Spring 1993): 18-21.

 

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Complete Short Stories of Nathaniel Hawthorne. New York: Doubleday and Co., Inc.,1959.

 

The Holy Bible, King James Version-Old and New Testaments, with the Apocrypha

http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/kjv.browse.html

 

James, Henry. Hawthorne. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1997.

 

Martin, Terence. Nathaniel Hawthorne. New York: Twayne Publishers Inc., 1965.

 

Wagenknecht, Edward. Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Man, His Tales and Romances. New York: Continuum Publishing Co., 1989.

 

 


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