Comparison Of Guilt In Young Goodman Brown And Burial By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Nathaniel Hawthorne was an author riddled with guilt because of his ancestor, Judge John Hathorne, who sent many innocent people (claiming that they were witches) to their deaths. His experience with the feeling of guilt and realization of the many sins people commit is expressed throughout his work. His most notable stories that delve into the effects of guilt and the dark secrets of human nature are Young Goodman Brown, The Minister’s Black Veil, and Roger Malvin’s Burial. In all three stories, the main characters receive a negative consequence, which continues to be a struggle for them their whole lives, due to their newfound knowledge of people’s sins and the guilt caused from them. Young Goodman Brown is a story about Goodman Brown who meets a stranger, most likely the devil, in the woods. This strange man tries to persuade Goodman Brown…show more content…
During the congregation, the author states, “... he recognized a score of church members of Salem village famous for their especial sanctity… elders of the church, these chaste dames, and dewy virgins, there were men of dissolute lives and women of spotted fame, wretches given over to all mean and filthy vice and suspected even of horrid crimes” (Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown 7). This is the moment in which Goodman Brown realizes that the distinction between the pure of heart and those tainted with evil is blurred, because those he once believed were pious Christians were joined together with immoral and corrupted people in a dark and wicked communion. Once the evil event starts, the devil says, “...where crime has been committed, and shall exult to behold the whole earth one stain of guilt, one mighty blood spot. Far more than this. It shall be yours to penetrate, in every bosom, the deep mystery of sin, the fountain of all wicked arts, and which inexhaustibly supplies more evil impulses than human power -- than my power at its utmost -- can make manifest in deeds” (8). This is the moment

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