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Religion in Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” and “The Minister’s Black Veil”

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short stories “Young Goodman Brown” and “The Minister’s Black Veil” reveal a central theme of religion that has played an important role in society. Both stories are filled with dark gothic motives that create an atmosphere and help convey a message. However, the elements of the grotesque in the behavior of the main characters make it possible to emphasize the importance of true faith in human life.

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Young Goodman Brown and Reverend Hooper are people that one can call good Christians. Their behavior is consistent and open, while other puritanisms show hypocrisy. For example, the Revenant and respected parishioners in “Young Goodman Brown” are followers of the devil, and people who discuss and are afraid of Reverend Hooper have hidden sins. However, the protagonists also exhibit behavior that expresses their “monstrous” nature, which Hawthorne shows with grotesque elements. Young Goodman Brown ran furiously through the forest and laughed as if a demon had possessed him upon hearing Faith’s voice (Hawthorne, ” Young Goodman Brown” 6). This moment is shocking for the reader because of its insanity but exciting because of the desire to predict the actions of the character.

Reverend Hooper’s speech before his death was his moment of grotesque. Reverend’s words were filled with condemnation, fear, and anger towards others and his veil at that moment became even more terrible for them (Hawthorne, ” The Minister’s Black Veil” 13). At that moment, Reverend Hooper did not look like a kind and righteous priest, but like a man who had secrets and bears anger towards the world. Consequently, this detail allowed Hawthorne to demonstrate that all people have vices, but only a few can openly resist them.

Works Cited

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Minister’s Black Veil. 1836. Web.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. Young Goodman Brown. Wildside Press, 2005. Web.

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StudyCorgi. "Religion in Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” and “The Minister’s Black Veil”." July 12, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/religion-in-hawthornes-young-goodman-brown-and-the-ministers-black-veil/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Religion in Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” and “The Minister’s Black Veil”." July 12, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/religion-in-hawthornes-young-goodman-brown-and-the-ministers-black-veil/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Religion in Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” and “The Minister’s Black Veil”'. 12 July.

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