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Young Goodman Brown

Walter J. Paulits’ 1970 essay on Young Goodman Brown is an attempt on his part to discuss both ambivalence and temptation within the context of Hawthorne’s classic work. Paulits maintains that Hawthorn employs ambiguity to arrive at his theme of moral ambivalence in the work. He considers the theme of Goodman Brown to be ambivalence. The story, published in 1835 and set in Colonial America of the Seventeenth Century, has multiple themes. There is an obvious thread of ambivalence that runs through the work but that same motif can be found in many great stories. The themes of Puritanism as a inducement to distrust others, fomenting suspicion among neighbors and the idea that not everyone looks at sin in the…