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Assignment Questions

A Critical Essay on Young Goodman Brown

The assignment is to write a response,critical essay on the story “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
– It must be a one-and-a half page.
-should be written in PRESENT tense
-he wants us to use objective diction : “please do not use “you” for critical writing in my class. Instead, try for the plural 3rd person. (or if necessary, 1st person)
-use vivid description where appropriate : “when writing a paper or response, try to refer to a scene by quickly describing it, rather than by writing “on page 5” or “in chapter 23”. Use description to set up your questions, and to supply evidence for your claims. But do not feel obliged to summarize a lot of plot for no reason. For responses, just set up your problem/question and then interpret it.
-support every idea/observation/assertion with specific references to the text.

“- For quotation, paraphrase and summary : Choose the most important sentence and create a quotation that starts with the author’s last name and ends with the page number. or
Choose the most important idea and paraphrase it. Include the author’s last name and ends with the page number.
– When writing a quotation or paraphrasing he wants us to do it like this :
1) Start with the introduction to the material : author plus present tense verb.
2) Then, the quotation or paraphrase and be careful with the punctuation.
3)Finally, the comment explains the connection between the writer’s ideas and your own.

-Introduction to P or Q – Author’s last name and present tense verb. Here’s a list of verbs so you don’t repeat the same verb. do not use “say”.
-Admit, reason, believe, claim ,suggest, think, write, insist , observe , point out ,illustrate , deny , declare,comment, compare, emphasize , dispute report, respond etc.

-Next, give the paraphrase or quotation, and include the author’s last name and page number in parentheses (124.)Include the author’s last name if it is not in your sentence. EX: (Schlosser 124)

-Finally, you must comment on the paraphrase or quotation – start with a transition and explain how the P or Q supports the main idea or topic.
ex : clearly, this comment or plan shows that, this shows that, it follows that, it seems clear that, obviously, indeed etc.”

The response part comes here: Respond to one of the questions below.
Young Goodman Brown

– What is the significance of the title? What may have been Hawthorne’s motive in naming his protagonist “Young Goodman Brown,” rather than, say, Miles Bradford? What is the significance of his wife’s name?
– What are some features of the author’s style? What are some examples of indirection? Irony (“mumbling some indistinct words, a prayer, doubtless”)? Humor? Overt allegory?
– When does the narrator enter the story, and what effect does this have?
– What do we learn about Goodman Brown’s wife at the beginning of the story? What do we know about Brown’s motives for leaving his wife?
-What symbolism is associated with nature and the forest?
-What is the tone of the tale’s several references to Native Americans? With what rites are they associated?
-What thoughts prompt the appearance of Goodman Brown’s guide? What are some of his strange qualities? Why, for example, does he resemble an older version of Brownhimself, and carry a snake-like staff? Are the narrator’s descriptions always an accurate guide to events? (e. g., “This, of course, must have been an occular deception, assisted by the uncertain light”).
-What means does the devil use to persuade Brown to continue his journey to the devil’s baptism? What are the stages of Brown’s gradual disillusionment? Whom does he encounter on his journey? What do many of these secret sinners seem to have in common?
-Why doesn’t Brown turn back, as he resolves to do? What different accounts of the devil’s communion does he hear on his journey? Does the reader receive clues as to what he will find there? (“There is a goodly young woman to be taken into communion”).
-What sound drives Brown to further despair? What comments on human nature does this prompt the narrator to make? (“The road grew wilder . . . leaving him in the heart of the dark wilderness, still rushing onward, with the instinct that guides mortal man to evil. . . . But he was himself the chief horror of the scene, and shrank not from its other horrors. . . . The fiend in his own shape is less hideous, than when he rages in the breast of man”).
-How is the devil’s service and congregation described? How is the natural setting altered for this event? What specific sins does the devil promise the potential communicant he will learn to recognize? What deeper mysteries will he come to understand? (“ye. . . shall exult to behold the whole earth one stain of guilt, one mighty blood-spot. . . . It shall be yours to penetrate, in every bosom, the deep mystery of sin”).
-If they consent to the devil’s “baptism,” what evil fate will overtake Goodman Brown and Faith?
-By what act does Goodman Brown break the evil spell? What is the effect of his words on Faith? Why does he abjure her to resist evil, rather than himself? In what state does he find himself after his shout of resistance?
-What events trouble Goodman Brown on his walk home? How does Faith greet him?
-What lasting effect does Brown’s experience have on him, on his perception of others, and on his family life? What expected solace is absent from his tombstone? On what basis does the narrator say of him, “his dying hour was gloom.”

Final Questions:

– What is added to the story by the narrator’s comments?
– What seems to be the allegorical significance of the story? Which aspects of the story seem most directly relevant to seventeenth-century New England, and which suggest general themes?
-Which aspects of Puritanism does the tale seem to critique? Which aspects does it seem to replicate or embody?
-Which aspects of the story seem to suggest psychological readings? What kinds of “sin” seem to preoccupy the protagonist and narrator? Are there other aspects of morality/religious attitudes outside the scope of the tale?
-What relationship between imagination and reality is presented by the story?
-Did you like “Young Goodman Brown“? What are ways in which it is well-written? What passages did you most admire?
-Are there aspects of this tale which remind you of “Rip Van Winkle”? What are some contrasts between the two stories, e. g. in their responses to nature? portrayal of women? moral concerns? approach toward history?
-What values might Irving and Hawthorne have shared?

He is going to make us read in the class and sometimes he makes us stop and asks questions like “that’s interesting! why did you say like that?” so please write it in a high school level even though I’m a freshman my english isn’t that good so I want it to look realistic. Use simple, basic words please and easy to understand- nothing fancy.
THANK YOU!!!

merve cetindogan

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