Organized Religion In Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown
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In almost all of the literature we’ve read this semester the subject of organized religion has been addressed in either a positive or negative way. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown,” “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass,” and Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn all address the topic of the church and organized religion, all with relatively similar views.
In “Young Goodman Brown,” we see a negative attitude towards the Church of Puritan New England. In “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass,” we see Douglass question his belief in God due to the unfortunate hand he was dealt as a slave. Douglass also doubts Christianity and questions how someone can be a “Christian” yet own people as property, beat them,…show more content… This is clearly stated in the appendix, where Douglass writes “I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ: I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women whipping, cradle plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land” (71). In this story Douglas doubts and questions the Christian religion and the hand he’s dealt as a slave. “I am left in the hottest hell of unending slavery. O God, save me! God, deliver me! Let me be free! Is there any God? Why am I a slave? I will run away I will not stand it. Get caught, or get clear, I'll try it. I had as well die with ague as the fever. I have only one life to lose. I had as well be killed running as die standing” (38). Here, Douglass questions God because he doesn’t believe that God would create slavery. He demands to know if a God exists and seems to believe that a God exists which will lead him to eventually be a free man. “I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity. I look upon it as the climax of all misnomers, the boldest of all frauds, the grossest of all libels” (71 appendix). Here, Douglass refers to the term “Christianity” as wrong, or inaccurate, in the land that he lives in. Douglas doesn’t see it possible that these people who do such terrible things to slaves, other human beings, as “Christians.” Much like Hawthorne sees their ways as hypocritical throughout the narrative of his life, Douglass shows that slaveholder’s religion doesn’t show their goodness, but shows that they are hypocrites. “The exercises of his family devotions were always commenced with singing; and, as he was a very poor singer himself, the duty of raising the hymn generally came upon me. He would read his hymn, and nod at me to commence. I would at times do so; at others, I would not. My