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Marxist Reading of "young Goodman Brown"

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Marxist Reading of "Young Goodman Brown"

Members of the church in puritan New England are referred to as saints, demonstrating that they are part of the elite. Nonmembers were the sinners. The different beliefs of the two created a caste society. Saints believed the bible was god's true law and they should follow it and live by it. However, in a black mass everyone is accepted there is equality. A Marxist critic trusts there will one day be a classless society. In "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne there is a heavy divide between the upper and lower classes. Goodman Brown turned away from the upper class and as a result is an outcast. The text shows a class based society and through a Marxists critique it could be said that he was punished for not committing to one class.

The Puritans created a caste society by attempting to reform the Church of England they wished to establish a new pure Christian commonwealth. They believe that god had chosen a few people, who were referred to as the elect for salvation. Anyone who was not part of the elect was automatically a sinner. If Puritans found out that someone was turning from god the Puritans would hang them. Goodman was automatically expected to follow this puritan view. Once he stepped into his journey through the forest it was the first step into becoming a sinner; "...Goodman Brown felt himself justified in making more haste on his present evil purpose. He had taken a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest, which barely stood aside to let the narrow path creep through, and closed immediately behind." He no longer was willing to follow God and through a Marxists view he was not sticking to one class and therefore deserved to be out casted.

Black mass is a magical ceremony in which people went to purposely mock God and worship the devil. Anyone who wished to attend the Black Mass could do so; but certainly not openly. They had to hide away in a secret place and not ever speak of it outside of their worship site; if they did they would have been punished. Goodman Brown for example walked into the dark depths of the forest in order to attend this mass, he did so secretively. During Puritan society anyone who attended the Black Mass was considered a sinner. In "Young Goodman Brown" there was a Black Mass taking place the narrator describes the people attending and the mood' " nor were sinners abashed by the saints" he describing how it seemed to not matter whether you were a sinner or a saint, they were equal. He goes on to describe how the good does not even hide from the wicked; "it was strange to see how the good shrank not from the wicked." Even intangible things were equal.

Saints are followers of God, pledged themselves to forever be loyal to God. Sinners, are against church and God, they instead worshiped the devil and attended



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