Young Goodman Brown Conformity Research Paper

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“To be yourself in a word in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” – Ralph Waldo Emerson. To conform is to behave in accordance with socially accepted standards or conventions. Conformity is everywhere, even in literature. Conformity can make or break you depending on if you go with it, or stand alone. The main question is: to conform or not to conform. Conformity can be found in literature pieces such as: Sinners at the hands of an angry God, Wyatt Walker, and Young Goodman Brown. These readings show different reasons of conforming and the end result of it. In Sinners at the hands of an angry God, the people of the community conform in the religion of puritans, fearing God’s punishment…show more content…
This quote shows the danger that the puritans in the community felt. They were fearful of God’s wrath and power over them. The result of that fear was to conform in the puritan religion so they did not have to face hell as a punishment. In Young Goodman Brown a newly married man conforms by participating in a satanic, pagan coven. He does not necessarily participate because he wants to, but because he believes his wife is involved in it. “Goodman Brown stepped forth from the trees and approached the congregation, with whom he felt a loathful brotherhood by the sympathy of all that was wicked in his heart” (Hawthorn8). At this point Goodman Brown has conformed to the congregation along with family and neighbors because he believes Faith, his wife, is involved as well. Throughout the reading, Goodman Brown continuously rejected the devils offering into the congregation, and kept searching for any sign of Faith. Once he believed that she might be involved, he conformed to the temptation of the Devils offering, not liking what he…show more content…
Self-Reliance by R.W. Emerson is a good example of this. In this reading the author writes about how most people conform to the expectations of others. Emerson, however, discourages this. He goes on saying “Society is a joint-stock company in which members agree for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and the culture of the eater” (Emerson2). In other words Emerson is saying that society may seem like it wants best for us, but it pushes for conformity. He compares society to the joint-stock company because it wants to collect on “ambiguous people”. Emerson is against conformity because of these reasons. In The Great Gatsby, conformity is a main occurrence in Jay Gatsby's life. Gatsby feels that the only way to win Daisy over is by creating a luxurious life full of money. He believes that by achieving this lifestyle he is worthy of her love. “He had deliberately given Daisy a sense of security; he let her believe that he was fully able to take care of her. As a matter of fact, he had no such facilities” (Fitzgerald149). Taking what Emerson had said above, he was right about conformity and how it affects people. Gatsby conformed to a luxurious lifestyle because that is what was socially acceptable in order to be with Daisy. In the end Gatsby still didn't end up with Daisy. Being somebody else and following societies expectations does not always end a positive way. In

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