Free Essays Psychological Analysis Of Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

906 words - 4 pages

Psychological Analysis of Young Goodman Brown




         Most of the works can be analyzed by one of the three critical approaches: traditional, formalistic or psychological approach.  When it comes to Young Goodman Brown (by Nathaniel Hawthorne), I think that psychological approach is the best one to use.  The story is all about the three components of our unconscious (id, ego and superego) and the constant battle among them.


         It is true that psychological approach has its flaws.  It was criticized unjustly for those flaws.  The ...view middle of the document...

  Hawthorne uses Young Goodman Brown who is driven by his id to get to the Devil.


         Once Brown encounters the Devil in the forest, he starts to get to his senses.  The psychological approach analyzes this occurrence as the emergence of the latent unconscious (Freud calls is the preconscious).  I was shocked when I read that Goodman Brown resembles the Devil.  "In truth, all through the haunted forest there could be nothing more frightful than the figure of Goodman Brown.  On he flew among the black pines, brandishing his staff with frenzied gestures, now giving vent to an inspiration of horrid blasphemy, and now shouting forth such laughter as set all the echoes of the forest laughing like demons around him.  The fiend in his own shape is less hideous than when he rages in the breast of man" (383).  Young Goodman Brown was surprised to hear that his moral tutors and his family worship the Devil.  His id, through the wish fulfillment of his dream, is driving him to satisfy his earthly pleasures.  He wants to see what drives them all to turn against the Church, but he also wants to stay away from the Devil (this scene represents another conflict between the ego and the id).  This picture very much resembles the Bible where Adam and Eve decide to disregard the order and eat the fruit.  Finally, his ego prevails and he decides not to go any further.  He says: "Friend, my mind is made up.  Not another step will I budge on this errand.  What if a wretched old woman do...

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