Young Goodman Brown and Other Hawthorne Short Stories

After reading the story, explain Hawthrone's view of the Puritans. Is it positive? Negative? What leads you to the conclusion?

In the short story "Young Goodman Brown". 

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Puritanism is often reflected and examined in Hawthorne's works. After breaking with the Anglican Church in England, Puritans moved to New England and developed a strong presence. Hawthorne was raised in Salem, Massachusetts, and his grandfather was a judge in the infamous Salem witch trials. Thus, Puritanism was a very important part of his background, a part that he often questioned throughout his stories; many of Hawthorne's stories take place in Puritan settings.

Though he attended church, he was conflicted regarding the strict intolerance of the religion, which is exemplified through his portrayal of John Endicott in "The Maypole of Merry Mount." In the story, the Puritans and the real historical figure Endicott are described as a group that cruelly thrusts their own morals onto others.

Again, in "Young Goodman Brown", the most upright Puritans are shown associating with the devil, demonstrating the hypocrisy Hawthorne may have seen in his religion or religious neighbors. This also calls to mind Salem's dark historical association with witchcraft.