Young Goodman Brown and Other Hawthorne Short Stories

The Birthmark, the Minister's Black Veil by Nathaniel Hawthorne

many of hawthrones characters are on a quest, oftern one part of the quest is conscious and the other unconsicous. discuu this statement with referecnce to several protagonists in his short stories. (discuss and two quotes from the stories.)

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Many of Hawthorne's short stories blur the lines between the scientific conscious and the supernatural conscious.

One example of this blurred distinction occurs in "Young Goodman Brown". It is unclear whether the witch gathering Goodman Brown witnesses in the forest is a dream or reality. The events in the story seem quite unimaginable, yet are recounted in great detail, and apparently change Goodman Brown in a very realistic way for the rest of his life. The quick shift from the gathering to Goodman Brown awakening in the forest, however, makes the event seem like a mere nightmare. Magical details, such as the devil's staff resembling a snake, or the appearance of Faith's ribbons, also appear dream-like. Regardless, whether Goodman Brown imagines his experience or in fact lives it, he is forever changed by the experience.

The supernatural also comes into play in "Ethan Brand". When Brand throws himself into the lime kiln, his remains are do not reflect what would be expected in reality. His heart is found, perfectly preserved, within his skeleton. Before his search for the Unpardonable Sin, he was rumored to commune with the devil. When he dies, Mount Graylock is bathed in a glorious sunshine, lending an air of redemption to his passing. Hints of the otherwordly pervade this tale.

Hawthorne employs mystical occurrences as symbols both in "Ethan Brand" and in "The Birthmark" and "Rappaccini's Daughter"; each tale hinges on the ruin of a mortal following philosophical experimentation. Afflicted Georgiana and poisonous Beatrice are also somewhat otherworldly figures whose circumstances couldn't possibly arise in the real world. Hawthorne uses doomed or cursed individuals to exaggerate moral conflicts; Brand's stone heart is a warning against alienation, Georgiana's stain illuminates her husband's hubris and Beatrice's death indicts her father's meddling in nature.