Young Goodman Brown and the Minister's Black Veil Essay

1055 Words Oct 6th, 2008 5 Pages
When taking a look at America’s short but significant history, we find that this nation was partly founded through religious ideals. Since its beginning, religion has helped to define the American Identity into what it is today. And this was explored throughout American literature especially in the Hawthorne’s The Minister’s Black Veil and Young Goodman Brown.
Hawthorne’s The Minister’s Black Veil is a parable, suggests his purpose for writing. According to Webster’s dictionary, a parable is a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson. This is exactly what Hawthorne is trying to accomplish. The black veil that Pastor Hooper wears causes confusion and creates fear within
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It is this awakening to the full meaning of his faith which causes Young Goodman Brown to look upon his minister as a blasphemer when he teaches "the sacred truths of our religion, and of saint-like lives and triumphant deaths, and of future bliss or misery unutterable" (1298), for he has learned that according to the truths of his faith there is probably nothing but "misery unutterable" in store for him and all his congregation; it is this awakening which causes him to turn away from prayer; it is this awakening which makes appropriate the fact that "they carved no hopeful verse upon his tombstone." After analyzing both stories, I’ve come to the conclusion that Hawthorne is really taking a stab at American identity in general. Though much is made of the influence of Puritanism on the writings of Hawthorne, he must also be seen to be a critic of the teachings of Puritanism. Perhaps he is pointing out some major flaws in American society, or perhaps at our past. For example, in our society, many people are self-righteous and quick to judge, despite the fact that they too have their own sins, just as Goodman Brown discovered everyone in his community were sinners, and Pastor Hooper hid behind his “black veil.” Many people, on a daily basis, hide behind their own veil, as Hooper states on his death-bed. Actions and sin during

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