Bad Faith; Waking Dream; Living Nightmare: Narratological Ambiguity and the Puritan Imagination in Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown"

Winzeler, Peter, English - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Greeson, Jennifer, English, University of Virginia

By studying the pattern and manipulation of narratological ambiguity in “Young Goodman Brown,” we learn about the sources and effects of that ambiguity. Hawthorne’s fascinating exploration of a “both/and” mode of thinking enables him to dramatize moral history by using ingenious aesthetic devices; the tale is both historical and aesthetic, exemplary of the twice-told and dialogical quality of his best writing. An unsuspecting man who strays into the forest, territory that the Puritans believed was haunted by the Devil, Brown experiences a waking dream, a living nightmare that impacts a whole lifetime.

MA (Master of Arts)
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