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Young Goodman Brown and Other Hawthorne Short Stories Essay Questions

  1. 1

    In “Young Goodman Brown,” was Brown’s experience of the witch event just an invention of his creativity, a dream, or reality? Assistance your answer with passages from the text.

    Many passages in the story make the event appear dream-like. For instance, the devil’s staff appears to take the shape of a snake, Faith’s ribbons amazingly appear in the middle of the forest, and after screaming at Faith to “resist the evil one” Brown all of a sudden discovers himself transported back into the middle of the forest, as if awakening from a problem. At the same time, the events of the night affect Brown for the rest of his life, suggesting that it had an extreme impact on him and suggesting that at least he believed it was real. It can also be argued that Brown pictured the scene due to his own guilty conscience and that the witch gathering is only an expression of the sin within himself.

  2. 2

    How do you think Brown would have turned out if he had remained at home that night? Do you think he would be a happier person, or simply a more naive one?

    Clearly Goodman Brown lived a better life before getting in the forest. He trusted his friends and his wife, Faith, profoundly. Yet, he concealed from them, and decided to venture into the forest even after Faith asked him to remain. His journey into the forest informs him to the sin and hypocrisy within all people. Though he emerged from the forest a dark and joyless male, he got considerable understanding of the intricate nature of mankind, showing an essential tradeoff.

  3. 3

    In “The Birthmark,” what does the elimination of the birthmark symbolize? Why does Aylmer demand eliminating the mark?

    Aylmer is a man of science who has actually invested his entire life into obtaining greater understanding and exceeding the bounds of nature. Though his other half Georgiana is remarkably lovely, Aylmer sees the mark on her cheek as an indication of earthly imperfection and a sign of her capability for both sin and death. Other lovers think the birthmark is wonderful and mystical, however to Aylmer’s critical eye, it is horrendous. He can not bear to look at her without wincing, and he is driven to remove it just as he is driven to proceed with much of his past experiments – the majority of which end in failure.

  4. 4

    In “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment,” the narrator is intentionally unclear about whether the results of the liquid are genuine or pictured. Present your argument with supporting proof from the text.

    Hawthorne’s usage of description and diction indicate that perhaps the four old pals just envisioned that they had been restored to youth. The mirror, for example, reveals the humorous scene of four old men and one female dancing about as the characters, intoxicated on youth, carouse in the research study. In another example, the effects of warmth and good humor of returning youth are connected with the homes of alcohol. On the other hand, lots of descriptions also seem to indicate that a transformation actually occurs; each of the Physician’s guests see youth in one another. It is unclear whether it matters if the event was genuine or imagined; in either case, the topics of the Doctor’s study show that if provided the opportunity to be young once again, they would dedicate the very same recklessness as before. Old or young, the characters’ problematic natures are revealed and stay the same.

  5. 5

    Examine the character of Baglioni in “Rappaccini’s Daughter.” Do you believe he is a hypocrite? Does he accomplishment over his rival, Rappaccini, in the end? Or, does he just undermine his own position?

    Baglioni declares to care for humankind in a way that Rappaccini does not. He asserts that Rappaccini has developed toxins that have actually only brought harm to the world, and thinks that Rappaccini’s child, Beatrice, is a prime example of the Doctor’s interest in science over mankind. In the end, nevertheless, Baglioni is the one who plants wicked ideas in Giovanni’s mind, and uses him to provide the antidote that ultimately kills Beatrice. It is uncertain whether Giovanni acts out of a believed “responsibility” towards humankind or a sinister plot to get back at with a long-time competitor. As a competitor, he is successful in harming Rappaccini in the inmost way – by taking away his only beloved daughter. However, as a supposed supporter of human life, he accomplishes the opposite of his ethical objective with her death.

  6. 6

    In “The Minister’s Black Veil,” how does Mr. Hooper deal with individuals in his parish after he puts on the veil, and what is the significance of his actions toward them?

    Mr. Hooper’s actions toward his congregation do not change; he is the very same caring and thoughtful minister he was prior to he wore the veil. Rather, it is the people who grow unpleasant with the sight of the veil, and change their reactions to Mr. Hooper. Since Mr. Hooper stays so pure and reputable from the outside, it is clear that the only reason for his churchgoers’s modification in mindset is his the veil itself. Their reactions are caused by a mere product things, demonstrating their own shallow and wicked natures.

  7. 7

    In “Ethan Brand,” what does Brand name believe is the Unpardonable Sin? Is he saved from his sin in the end?

    According to Brand, the Unpardonable Sin “is a sin that grew within my own breast … a sin that grew no place else! The sin of an intellect that triumphed over the sense of brotherhood with man and reverence for God, and sacrificed everything to its own mighty claims! The only sin that should have a recompense of never-ceasing misery!” During his mission for higher knowledge, he manipulated others to dedicate sins, thus severing his relationship with humankind and with God.

    For a sin to be unpardonable, the sinner should be unrepentant. It is uncertain whether Brand certainly repents at the end of his life. He states, “Easily, were it to do again, would I incur the regret.” But, it is possible that Brand’s sin was not genuinely unpardonable – instead, it was just his principle of what was unpardonable. It might have been bit more than a show. Before his death, Brand sobs, “O humanity, whose brotherhood I have abandoned, and trampled thy great heart underneath my feet!” Possibly this recognition of his sin and lamentation over it purified his soul. The scenery in the mountain the next morning lines up with this style of redemption, as the clouds seemed “almost as if a mortal male might thus ascend into the heavenly areas.” Moreover, the kiln’s interior is intense white; Brand name’s heart rests inside his skeleton in the form of pure lime. This may show that a possible purging of sin took place.

  8. 8

    In the “Maypole of Merry Mount,” which group do you believe is more “excellent” or “evil” – the Puritans or the Merrymakers?

    Arguments might be produced both sides. Throughout the majority of the story, the Puritans are painted as cold, grim, and dark figures, who stage an attack on the Merrymakers without provocation. Their punishments for the Merrymakers appear extreme and barbarous, rather at odds with the spiritual faith they presume to support. Their treatment of the Lord and Lady of the Might might be seen as empathy, but could likewise just be seen as enforcing Puritan values onto innocent and impressionable youth.

    On the other hand, the Merrymakers might be odd and silly fellows, however are largely safe. They do not try to physically challenge the Puritans, nor is any description provided suggesting that they fight back when assaulted. Though they might not always be “evil,” the story does hint that their mirth is not real, however rather a fabrication, and for this absence of real emotion, they are even worse off than the Puritans.

  9. 9

    In “Roger Malvin’s Burial,” what is the significance of Cyrus’s death?

    When Reuben accidentally shoots his own son while hunting, at the exact spot where Roger Malvin died, Reuben’s debt is paid. Cyrus is a grand price to pay, as he is Reuben’s only kid, and is a lot valued. Cyrus reminds Reuben of his younger self, before he was damaged by regret. Cyrus’s death served to expiate Reuben’s sin; his curse was gone, however at a really high rate. Cyrus’s death ends the cycle of sin.

  10. 10

    In “My Kinsman, Major Molineux,” why does Robin make fun of his relative when he sees the bad Significant tarred and feathered?

    Robin’s laughter seems to be spontaneous, as he is swept up in the tumult of the crowd. Nevertheless, on closer examination, the storyteller tells us that Robin is a shrewd youth, and he realizes, after the treatment he has endured the whole night, that if he does not laugh, he might face the same fate as his relative. Contrary to his initial belief, his kinsman is not a honored figure however rather a humiliated public authorities. His actions, however, show that he cares more for survival than for loyalty to his member of the family. His buddy sees his laughter as a severing of ties and also as an act of independence, and therefore recommends that Robin stay behind and make it through without the assistance of his kinsman.

  11. 11

    What do you think takes place at the end of “Wakefield”. Is Mr. Wakefield’s reunion with his wife a pleased one?”

    Hawthorne’s inspiration for this story originates from a real-life event he recalls reading in a newspaper. The male on whom Mr. Wakefield is based, like his character, returns house following a mysterious 20 year lack. Allegedly, the real male lived the rest of his years as a loving partner. In taking a look at the man’s motivations through Mr. Wakefield, Hawthorne is more ambiguous regarding his character’s fate. He envisions a rainy scene and supposes that the choice to reenter his home – and his life – was certainly not premeditated. It is Wakefield’s longing for his partner, the warmth of his home and the habits of his old life that triggers him to cross the threshold. Mrs. Wakefield stopped working to recognize her partner ten years previously; in their sophisticated age, it is unclear whether she would think this male – now a stranger to her – is her presumed-dead partner. Both a happy and a dissatisfied reunion are possible. Hawthorne tips that the “repercussions” of Wakefield’s actions are inevitable, so he might be cast aside by his jilted spouse. But Hawthorne paints Wakefield’s longing so strongly, it is completely possible that his other half’s thrill over her husband living may erase her years of grief.

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