Monday, October 19, 2015

#HalloweenRead: Young Goodman Brown

 
 
Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The Scarlet Letter, isn't someone I've ever associated with Halloween. But Hawthorne's story, Young Goodman Brown, is a darkly ambiguous, allegorical slice of dread that's a perfect compliment to the season if you enjoy mixing things up a bit and aren't one of those boring people who dismisses old literature as boring.
 
Young Goodman Brown illustrates one fateful night in the life of its titular character, in which Brown confronts the hypocrisy of his fellow townspeople and the inescapable pervasiveness of Evil. Hawthorne's tale isn't gruesome, isn't filled with monsters (is it?), and isn't, on its surface, something that'll keep you up at night. But lurking under the surface of the story is a vast darkness, waiting to swallow the reader. It's the darkness of doubt, the darkness that descends whenever we realize that other people are essentially unknowable, and that all of our assumptions about the motivations of our fellow man rest precariously on the very little we can truly know about their hearts.
 
Young Goodman Brown is available to read online FOR FREE. It'll take you all of 10 minutes. Go forth hence and attend to it.

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