Majority.fm Pods: Literary Hangover #4: 'Young Goodman Brown' by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1835)

Majority.fm Pods: Literary Hangover #4: 'Young Goodman Brown' by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1835)



hello majority report viewers I'm Matt lek producer here at the majority report you might know me if you don't you will also won't know that I have a podcast behind me called the literary hangover it's about to be in front of you because I'm putting it in your feed as a sample because we're off this week it's on history and literature and that sort of thing we play clips we actually play the full short story here of Young Goodman Brown so if you haven't haven't listened haven't heard that story before you can experience it sort of similar to us playing a mic sir no vich video and commenting on it if you enjoy this the show is available anywhere you get podcasts and also on youtube if you search literary hangover and if you want to support it patreon.com slash literary hangover thanks welcome to the literary hangover my name is matt liquor with me Alex gums hello this is the second episode were recording on Nathaniel Hawthorne but the first you'll probably be listening to because we're gonna go a bit deeper into his biography here we're doing Young Goodman Brown which is a short story Hawthorne originally published in new england magazine in 1835 and we're going to get right to it here with some biographical detail about Nathaniel Hawthorne before we get into Young Goodman Brown so this is a 2003 interview on c-span with Brian Lamb who does a really good job at these sorts of things talking with a biographer of Hawthorne Brenda wine Apple who wrote Hawthorne a life and one of the reasons we're going to be spending a number of episodes on Hawthorne is because of his historical outlook he's obsessed with the Puritans Scarlet Letter been his most famous story but also you know in Maple of marymount which we have also talked about and the house of Seven Gables is also sort of focused on the sort historical lineage that Hawthorne himself was actually familiarly connected to his grandfather was a a judge her great-grandfather was a judge during the witch trials and did not cover himself in glory really at all he was actually we should just go to one of those first to kick off to sort of know what is in Hawthorne 'he's past that he he was aware of will get to his sort of education and we'll cover the witch trials more in depth later on will covered a bit during the scarlet letter episode but we'll also be talking about the crucible by arthur miller so we don't want to i don't want to you know go through it all here but here's just a brief mention of how Hawthorne Hathorne as it was called Hawthorne actually added a W to his last name is there some speculation that this is to distance himself from this dark family legacy although I think his fiction that sort of draws attention to it might argue against that but here's just a moment from a storm of witchcraft the Salem witch trials and the American experience by Emerson Baker he goes into ha thorns role in basically the Puritans destruction of their own judicial system with the superstition ordering the constables to arrest the women and have them at Ingersoll's ordinary or tavern by 10:00 the next morning for questioning the tavern was in the heart of Salem Village a minutes walk from the parsonage at meeting house the next morning so many people tried to crowd into Ingersoll's for the hearings that the proceedings had to be moved down the street to the much larger meeting house all four afflicted girls were there to face their tormentors the accused were questioned one at a time starting with Sarah Goode Hawthorne led the interrogations more like a modern-day police detective grilling a subject for a confession than an impartial judge from the nature of the unrelenting questions he asked it is clear that he believed witchcraft was at work and that the three women were responsible what evil spirit have you familiarity with have you made no contact with the devil why do you hurt these children Goods denials were to no avail when the four girls confirmed their identification of Sarah as their tormentor she denied the charge at which point the girls became all dreadfully tortured and tormented for a short space of time that's hot Ron's great-grandfather this book which we will cite in the future goes into how you know our conception of the Salem witch trials as sort of like women calling other women witches is lacking in terms of like the real significance of the episode which is basically like the Mather family and that Puritan patriarchy completely discredited itself with by killing multiple members of its community because if they thought there were witches mm-hmm well we'll talk about this more but it's it that's such an interesting watershed in between the 1600 and the 1700s to me and and this is what we'll also talk with Young Goodman Brown the innocence is over and the naivety is over and how you react to see you know reality and adjustment to actual reality is a huge trial for people yeah and I think in the broader context of Europe at that moment and immediately preceding it was just an unrelenting time of religious violence primarily like the 30 Years War and the English Civil War to a lesser degree is European Christianity at that moment in particular you almost couldn't escape the idea of zealously persecuting your enemies for like that that was the definition of religious liberty at that moment and even if you cross the Atlantic it was inescapable yeah okay so let's now that we sort of know where hah thorns background is let's just play a little bit from this this Brenda wine Apple she's the her biography is really good about Hawthorne and I might play for some from that my death in some episodes but she also appears in the c-span in 2003 and this is on YouTube the interview really focuses a lot on Hawthorne's politics and part of that is because it's a c-span interview but also Hawthorne was a significantly intertwined from a young age with political people Franklin Pierce being the foremost among those here's this 2003 interview with Brenda wine apple Brenda wine Apple author of the life Hawthorne how much did politics play in his life it played a much larger role than people have liked to think he was a political man he was involved in politics and he was best friends with arguably one of the worst American presidents which is saying something Franklin Pierce Franklin Pierce how did he get to know Franklin Pierce they met at college they weren't voting together Pierce was a year ahead of Hawthorne Pierce was a very gregarious outgoing warm and genial person and he and Hawthorne became friends they actually marched together in a little group called the Bowdoin Cadets one doesn't think of Hawthorne marching and certainly not marching behind anyone but they did and also politics at Bowdoin was very important they were both what became Democrats they were Jeffersonian Republicans at the time so that was a very important connection between the two men then they stayed friends for their entire lives I will stop it there I want to cut a little bit ahead to where they talk about what Democrat meant at that time which i think is actually very important for sort of what politics is now yeah you know there's lots of problems with the Democratic Party but at no point was that ever like a truly democratic party right like it was a democratic party for white men yeah yeah they they're they were known at that moment for widening the franchise from white property-owning men to just white men so which like good job yeah yeah no good but maybe not enough yeah that's this is where they needed a little bit of inner intersectionality yeah here's where they talk a bit more specifically about what Democrat meant in the sort of early early Party it's kicked out and it was quite a so that was the next major appointment and that lasted until 18-49 a matter of fact you wrote 380 he stood for dark doubt and the Democratic Party start was the Democratic Party what was the Democratic Party back in the 1800's 1850s it developed out of Jackson it's the sort of Jacksonian Democrats and the and the Democratic Party in those years was more like today's Republicans important to sort of remember who became what the Democrats were stood very strongly for states rights and as a result early on they became a party associated with expansion manifest destiny as I said expanding territories to the west even to the south and partly as a consequence of that they also became associated with pro-slavery a large part of the Democratic Party was pro-slavery it was a pro-slavery wing it separated out later on his politics got even more dicey than they were but it was also a Progressive Party in that it was for working person it was stood against the kind of money capitalist aristocracy say of Boston which was associated with the Whigs so by Hawthorne and then Pierce and his friends at Bowdoin joining with the Jacksonian Democrats they felt that they were joining with something that was youthful exciting exuberant offered a kind of real hope and egalitarianism for America which was true as long as you were my white male but that was true and that was the vision so it was a kind of the eight way it was a kind of party in a sense of optimism a kind of party of reform too which is interesting because then later when it becomes associated with Pro slave pro-slavery forces we tend to then think of that party as being a conservative benighted reactionary it was more complicated than that the Republicans rose out of the Whig party that was against the Democrats in the anti-slavery Whigs with a conscience wigs and the anti-slavery Democrats joined forces eventually by 1860 elected lincoln as a republican hawthorn stayed true to the democratic party all the way through even though lots of people left it became either if they didn't become Whigs that would be too hard we can't went to the Republicans because after all the Republicans seemed to promise some of the things that the Democrats stood for but also anti-slavery hawthorn did not so he was in the most he stayed with the most conservative part of the Democratic Party which eventually fell apart I was like when people in history have that moment to get out you know where it's it's a it's obscure where they land specifically on an issue and then they defend that issue to the death by pay they go beyond the pale and be like no this is this is why I'm part of the Democratic Party it's it's for the slavery yeah and you have to confront that in a way and to me this is a new thing I've been thinking about awful lot which is that the people in your immediate social circle determine your and this is not true for me because I'm a person who had very heterodox politics and beliefs even as a high schooler in North Dakota that nobody else really even fed into so I am I am a genuine independent thing thinker thank you for listening to my podcast but I think a lot of people it's it's it's what's comfortable to get along with the people around you yeah like you caught you if you go to a college with a bunch of like Young Democrats which I'm imagining turning-point USA like I I imagine you'd like Hawthorne as a young little like Demick mean it's a it's it's a weird thing because like you like I don't know I guess exactly what I'm trying to say here but I do want to go to specifically on slavery so they're two things Hoffman was especially bad on slavery being the preeminent one he's just awful on it and we'll get to that the other one I just want to mention briefly because it's famous is a Hawthorne he was successful in known but he wasn't a bestseller he was sort of more the the critics choice the writers writer yeah wouldn't so much but he got annoyed this is a quote from the Brenda wine Apple biography marina Susannah Cummings the Lamplighter selling 40,000 copies in two months triggered another quote America is now wholly given over to a damned mob of scribbling women Hawthorne cried in 1855 and I should have no chance of success while the public taste is occupied with their trash and should be ashamed of myself if I did succeed which is a perfect like encapsulate like that insulates you from success and failure right like if I did succeed I'd be selling out it was such a timeless art artists trope and I wouldn't want to be successful anyways it's really kind of baffling that women get this reputation of not engaging with like the real things because it seems to me the opposite we're like you know Catherine Maria Sedgewick's hope Leslie has all sorts of like a Pequot War all sorts of that stuff whereas like it seems it seems like the people who buy into this idea that women writers weren't talking about real things Lydia Murray a child with hobo Mach 2 it's it's like what's real is if we valorize heroic characters right that's what's real yeah that this man he beats the odds and does his honorable duty not like this story captures what's really going on socio-politically in a community at a given time like that's not real yeah to me it seems I could be the opposite way around just based on the way people like Hawthorne or people who have been influenced by this sort of like strain of misogynistic thought that like women are doing like nice domestics stories or whatever that the cliche would be is I think men are as bad at writing like just pointless crap and it's seemingly worse as far as in the survey that I've done yeah yeah yeah I think firm maybe someone like Hawthorne who from what we've read is deeply interested in history and how history affects the present would probably see women as well they're not unlike the historical continuum there are no great women leaders with the exception of a few freaks so they're not even really part of like the grand narrative of history yeah he had other points says that women writing like it takes a sort of disrobing to be a that should be beneath women which is which is also odd be given that like he's also worried about being a male writer and a feminine profession that's a Huey Long's ayat II for like a lot of these writers at this time which is and there's a lot of that going on in this short story that we'll get into right just a little bit on a Hawthorne slavery politics in civil war I guess and to be more precise honey while he was the consulship why he was consul for Liverpool under the Pierce administration and part of the reason he took that job was to make it was a very lucrative job to make that money you said at the time a good house would cost three thousand dollars yeah but you also said at the time oh yeah this goes into him he Franklin Pierce gave hooked him up with jobs and the Democratic Party hooked him up with jobs a number of times the Custom House which is the introduction to the Scarlet Letter is him basically lamenting how being on the government dole saps your energy or like will to live we'll talk more about that in a later episode and then here we talks about like yeah when Pierce was president well in the campaign Hawthorne wrote a biography of Pierce the official campaign biography and for his efforts was repaid with the Liverpool basically customs gig that he basically got to skim off the top on the transaction so as Brenda saying here he made $10,000 one year and like a house cost three thousand is this is this like the first public intellectual or that we can think of an American history that was that ingratiated with the White House with the White House like with the president I think I don't know specifically you know we do it talked about Washington Irving going to the Madison's White House yeah I guess that's and Irving himself also wrote like up biographies for John Jacob Astor's Astoria project the fur trading empire in western Washington oh he also wrote like a history of the Navy if you're a writer you can get political gigs yeah but him writing Hawthorne writing a biography of Franklin Pierce campaign trail has a very modern edge to it like it sounds very familiar yeah yeah yeah I mean if we're in a weird time now would probably they'd probably just go straight it you have somebody go straight it like I don't know that Obama might be different right like you could see a celebrity after writing an Obama biography yeah I was thinking of gore Vidal and JFK which I didn't write it biography directly they definitely helped a lot in the campaign here's this is back to that c-span interview you said at the time a good house would cost $3,000 yeah but you also said at the time in order to get stay out of the Civil War you could spend $300 right that's right that's right now what did he do in connection with war well he was too old to fight didn't had he it's it's unclear whether he would have wanted to or not some days he felt he wanted to grab that musket and shoot someone but mostly he was so horrified by the bloodletting that was the Civil War because daily there were reports of friends of his children or nephews being lost or or maimed or or runaway something like that and he was he was aghast at the whole thing he was he was he was brutalized by the war and he was very critical of the north and of the south both navies anti-war I would say he was anti-war yeah which is an anomalous thing to be in that time it's almost as if you know the modern corollary would be anti-war although some people were Robert law during the Second World War and now to us we think well how could you have been on anti-nazi how could you have been anti-war well there was a way in a civil war for a northerner living in Concord Massachusetts neighbor of of Thoreau neighbor of Emerson to be anti-war when in point of fact the war was being fought from these people's point of view to emancipate the slaves you know to get rid of slavery isn't is a strange position sounds like a an all lives matter type of guy you know I think it's Morse even subtle than that he's like a never Trump sort of conservative guy that doesn't really like there's that there's a type of conservative that sees what's going on and it's like yeah I don't like this but both sides are just everyone just needs to calm down and let it Catherine didn't think that reform could get rid of slavery he thought it would just have to get rid of itself and basically says that any attempts by man to intervene in the system would lead to do something worse hmm that sounds like wisdom to a lot of people yeah and at certain points in history it could be I guess it's very Jeffersonian yeah but it's also this sort of anti conflict civility bullshit that frankly when push comes to shove in historical moments doesn't fly yeah well it just goes back to the initial premise that they're not enacting anything it's just an act of nature essentially they're just the stewards of this thing that's of natural order for the right part despite the fact that like throughout all this time they're doing things to maintain it yeah yeah taking active measures to maintain it that's probably enough for Hawthorne's politics but I want to foreground that because I do think the way Young Goodman Brown and our story comes up gets his sort of cherry pop shall we say with should we not say that I mean you can say that like that just that was like my that's like a Madeleine cookie but to go back to like freshman year fired that phrase the metaphor is uh you know just incredibly apt yeah I mean in certain ways I think there there are sexual elements to this yes and gender politics right so strapped in but I but I think the I I think that the way Young Goodman Brown reacts to seeing as we'll see like different people in these sort of the satanic woods is how certain conservative could believe there's no difference between Republican Party corruption and Democratic Party corrupt hmmm maybe this is that's a bit of a stretch as an analogy but like the loss of of innocence and realizing what the world actually is is is an interesting theme to me I want to play a little bit from this is a English 330 350 American literature to 1865 with dr. Barry wood at the University of Houston he's got a number of lectures on YouTube and I think he does a pretty good job they these lectures might be a bit old it says this was uploading like 2010 but it looks a bit older than that and yeah well here's the music this is this is to be fair this is waiting for the show to start we'll skip at a little bit ahead here this was your day like putting this track together well that's the best part is like like iTunes U and things like that like re it's just a straight recording but you could tell this early edition of like recording lectures like well we have to make it it's television yeah to make it exciting so it's like shots of the quad people walking through the cafeteria with like the coolest music you could possibly get for free would goes off on this he has a really good sensitivity it seems to me to the theocratic elements of it I'm gonna play this a little bit here actually I'll play his intro to the the story a little bit too so people can get a little bit of an idea for what's coming up here Young Goodman Brown he is an equally interesting story the story of a naive young man newly married just three months to his wife faith he is a third generation Puritan he has a Puritan family of renowned people his father and his grandfather and in the story he makes a journey one night into the forest around Salem where he lives and this challenges his assumptions about his community about his family and about his wife and the result to put it very simply is that he has changed forever that's probably enough to tease because we are going to just play the entire a short story and listen along with you here he goes into the the the religious background in context for our protagonist Young Goodman Brown now there are other things to say here if we try to interpret this this allegory I suppose it seems to be an allegory in that faith is you know stands not only for his wife but for his religion if he is just three months married to faith following that through allegorically he appears to be a recent convert to the Puritan religion three months ago he's converted to the Puritan religion now this presents a puzzle because the story suggests that his father and his grandfather were good Puritans so how could he be in a line of good Puritans the grandfather and father and yet to be a recent convert to the Puritan religion well here we need to remember a little bit of Puritan history the to become to be recognized as a Puritan one was supposed to show signs of having God's grace this was a problem in the early Puritan years in New England because it meant that children couldn't be couldn't be part of the religion until they were old enough to manifest God's grace and in the early Puritans recognized that their numbers were going to greatly dwindle in this situation and this is why the half-way covenant was invented in 1660 – which allowed a baby to be baptized and to be in a halfway situation their full entry into the church would then be held off until their adult years when some kind of grace situation was apparent and then they could be admitted to full membership the halfway covenant was was a 1662 and as I say it allowed children and grandchildren to grow up within the church without being fully admitted pending a kind of full conversion at in there at all years and this would explain how Goodman Brown is both a descendent of Puritans in his grandfather and his father and also a recent convert he is an example of someone he's a third-generation Puritan who grew up in this halfway situation and now he's converted into it presumably then he's waited for God's grace for years and now just recently he's evident signs of God's grace and allowed him a full marriage to the faith it's interesting to me how political a lot of when when a body that claims to be acting upon sort of fundamental religious principles is forced to react to things like pop the population is growing we need to like have some way to control these people and filter them into our church but we also don't want to dilute the sort of worship that we're doing and like I remember hearing about the halfway covenant I didn't I didn't remember what it really was until her researching it for this but like I remembered that was in my social studies books oh really yeah I remember learning about it in school no he's interesting to see new social movements new at the time how they kind of the exception of specifics all become rather similar and that this is like of course you need some sort of rite of passage to be recognised as an adult in the community any social community essentially has this rite of passage and you can only in the very like Hawthorne sense you really can only be a different or unique or utopian society until the real world comes crashing in and like the society has to have a coming-of-age moment almost so it's like conflating them micro and the macro that Hawthorne seems to do quite a lot actually let's play there's a little bit more listen see and then we'll go to the story doctrinally I think it it's clear that the story comments on the halfway covenant which allowed hundreds of Puritan youth to attend church on the presumption that grace would come and notice the way I was phrased that on the presumption that grace would come this essentially within the Puritan context actually tended to weaken the Puritan religion when grace finally came to the adult the the person was in a position where they could say well that was easy and of course you see that presumption is occurring here that the Puritans in introducing the halfway covenant were actually introducing the scene of a possible sin of presumption into the system and this of course then laid the groundwork for the possible falling out of grace and the attitude that one could fall out of grace and easily get back into grace and you see how they the the youth of waiting for grace and then the easy entrance into the religion could set up the framework for an attitude that one could fall in and out very easily one could indulge momentarily and still be saved in other words young Goodman's Browns moral laxity has been prepared for by the structure of the religion of which he is a part arguably he never really did receive full grace no one who had we could argue whatever expose themselves to temptation in this way so that it is interesting how the structural thing can create difficult psychological event in a person that they're not really prepared for especially when that structure is based on binary which this short story is grapples with the our time here either damned or the elect yes and there's a view shift back and forth and that's it so let's actually get down to a business here by the way this is from LibriVox Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne Young Goodman Brown came forth at sunset into the street at Salem Village but put his head back after crossing the threshold to exchange a parting kiss with his young wife and faith as the wife was aptly named thrust her own pretty head into the street letting the wind play with the pink ribbons of her cap while she called to Goodman Brown dearest heart whispered she softly and rather sadly when her lips were close to his ear prithee put off your journey until sunrise and sleep in your own bed tonight a lone woman is troubled with such dreams and such thoughts that she's afeard of herself sometimes please tarry with me this night dear husband of all nights in the year that of all nights in the year the suggestion is this is uh All Hallows Eve mm-hmm my love and my faith replied Young Goodman Brown of all nights in the year this one night must I tarry away from thee my journey as thou callest it forth and back again must needs be done twitch now and sunrise what my sweet pretty wife dust thou doubt me already and we bought three months married then god bless you said faith with the pink ribbons and may you find all well when you come back amen cried Goodman Brown say thy prayers dear faith and go to bed at dusk and no harm will come to thee so they parted and the young man pursued his way until being about to turn the corner by the meeting house he looked back and saw the head of faith still peeping after him with a melancholy air in spite of her pink ribbons poor little faith thought he for his heart smote him what a wretch am I to leave her on such an errand she talks with dreams to me thought as she spoke there was trouble in her face as if a dream had warned her what work is to be done tonight but no no it would kill her to think it well she's a blessed angel on earth and after this one night I'll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven just as enlightened males that we are that she's a blessed angel of heaven yeah like not the not the best way to think of your significant other now that can lead to some disappointment and maybe some an angry response on your part Oh a weird relationship to have which you're essentially the person's parent almost and out of all the flat female characters we've read this one has got to be the worst are the most egregious and I think it attempts to get away with it by saying it's an allegory which you know obviously it is but it's like it's still a character it has to it has to exhibit some sort of uniqueness to itself which from my reading nothing there's nothing there that I can't glean anything from her with this excellent resolve for the future 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 what's interesting about this as a setup for a story is we only know that what he's about to do is wrong but we don't know what it is and why it's wrong and also the collapsing of the real world in the dream world immediately that she she had possible premonitions of danger and light and in this story how real that isn't how important that is is not clear in the great courses a lecture on this I can remember who the guy is but he talks about oh this is maybe America's first parable of the forest the dark woods and you know like obviously Thoreau had a very different idea of what what you'd go to the woods to do but this one's probably I mean definitely more historically attuned to what the Puritans thought of it as but I like the we'll call it the psychogeography to use a situationist word of yeah like the forest and this this appears in scarlet letter it also appears in hope Leslie the forest as location of illicit activity yeah and on things that the Puritans came to create a civilization where in their minds there was none where there was chaos essentially and they tried to move out things that they've now either forgotten dismissed or buried and so they still live on in the dark woods basically it was all as lonely as could be and there is this peculiarity in such a solitude that the traveler knows not who may be concealed by the innumerable trunks and the thick boughs overhead so that with lonely footsteps he may yet be passing through an unseen multitude there may be a devilish Indian behind every tree said Goodman Brown to himself and he glanced fearfully behind him as he added what if the devil himself should be at my very elbow which his head being turned back he passed a crook of the road and looking forward again beheld the figure of a man in grave and decent attire seated at the foot of an old tree he arose at Goodman Browns approach and walked onward side by side with him you are late Goodman Brown said he the clock of the old South was striking as I came through Boston and that is full fifteen minutes are gone faith kept me back a while replied the young man with a tremor in his voice caused by the sudden appearance of his companion though not wholly unexpected it was now deep dusk in the forest and deepest in that part of it where these two were journeying as nearly as could be discerned the second traveller was about fifty years old apparently in the same rank of life as Goodman Brown and bearing a considerable resemblance to him though perhaps more an expression that features still they might have been taken for father and son and yet though the elder person was a simply clad as the younger and a simple and manner to he had an indescribable air of one who knew the world and who would not have felt abashed at the governor's dinner table or in King William's Court where it possible that his affair should call him thither so fine that's interesting right away that both characters that we've met that are not Goodman Brown are aspects of our main characters psyche essentially that you have this wife was supposed to represent his faith and maybe to a degree he's like in her soul I guess and then you also meet this sinister demon figure who looks just like him and it's eerily similar to be an older him almost yeah so he's running into he's running into and having a dialectic with versions of himself it seems or not maybe not versions with aspects of himself the other part is how this is I think not just internally focused in the way that they bring up you know that the people from society that are also there the colleague the common American book concede a sort of thought of as the individual versus the oppressive society mmm-hmm and you know Scarlet Letter sort of plays into that a little bit but I though I don't think it necessarily sides with Hester we'll talk about that on that episode the problem with those stories is it glorifies the individual in a way that like you could write those stories where the individuals values are terrible or they're great and you can still frame that opposition to society in pretty much the same way yeah it's in its its relegated to the activity of the protagonists not the reasons behind the activity I like the the literary touches like the the demon mentioning that he was in Boston like 15 minutes ago like yeah that's right he can teleport yeah that's pretty and then looking very similar to him I anything with doppelgangers I'm always like a little creepy and also the time that fifteen minutes ago like that time as a thing that would will come to increasingly régiment society is like that's almost it almost seems more to the time Hawthorne was writing this then when he actually then the the setting of the story itself yeah that's a good point especially with things like the Transcontinental Railroad being built is on time but the only thing about him that could be fixed upon is remarkable with his staff which bore the likeness of a great black snake so curiously rock that it might almost be seen to twist and wriggle itself like a living serpent this of course must have been an ocular deception assisted by the uncertain light come Goodman Brown cried his fellow-traveller this is a dull pace for the beginning of a journey take my staff if you are so soon weary friend said the other exchanging his slow pace for a full stop having kept covenant by meeting to hear it is my purpose now to return whence I came I have scruples touching the matter that what stuff say us now so replied he of the serpent smiling apart let us walk on nevertheless reasoning as we go and if I convince the not thou shall turn back we are but a little way in the forest yet too far too far exclaimed the Goodman unconsciously resuming his walk I just have to do I don't want to make it just the tip joke but I want to at least put that in there on your mind anyway too far too far complain to Goodman unconsciously resuming his walk my father never went into the woods on such an errand nor his father before him we have been a race of honest men and good Christians since the days of the martyrs and shall I be the first of the name of Brown that ever took this path and kept such company that what say observe the elder person interpreting his pause well said Goodman Brown I have been as well-acquainted with your family as with everyone among the Puritans and that's no trifle to say I helped your grandfather the constable when he lashed the Quaker women so smartly through the streets of Salem and it was I that brought your father a pitch pine not kindled at my own heart to set fire to an Indian village in King Philip's War this is a part where I really think this is not just about this is about losing a sort of idea of innocence of society and the civilization and part of I have a part do you have anything to say about the Quakers isn't the Quakers thing yes I mean it's a document in a known thing even at the time that Puritans were brutalized the Quakers which they there were two Christian social movements that started in England that cropped up not at the same time but Puritans a little bit earlier than the Quakers and they had radically different dishes on reform what would be reforming the English church the Puritans were much better at solidifying power and as soon as they did they were able to cancel out there rising Quaker power pretty quickly and regarding the the King Philip's War reference there I have from Roxane Dunbar Ortiz's and indigenous people's history of the United States she goes into a bit about this King Philip's War and sort of what the significance of it historically at that time the non-indigenous population of the English colony in North America had increased six-fold to more than 150,000 which meant that settlers were intruding on more of the indigenous homelands indigenous resistance followed in what the settlers called King Phillip's war Papa no AG people and their indigenous allies attacked the settlers isolated farms using a method of guerrilla warfare that relied on speed and caution in striking and retreating the settlers scorned to this kind of resistance as skulking and responded by destroying indigenous villages again extra patient but indigenous guerrilla attacks continued and so the commander of the Plymouth militia Benjamin Church studied indigenous tactics in order to develop a more effective kind of preemption he petitioned the colony's governor for permission to choose 6270 settlers to serve as Scouts as he called them for what he termed wilderness warfare in July 1676 the first settler organized Ranger force was the result the Rangers 60 settlers and 140 colonized indigenous men were to this pursue fight surprise destroy or subdue the enemy and churches words the inclusion of indigenous fighters on the colonists side has marked settler colonialism and foreign occupations ever since the settler Rangers could learn from their native aids and discard them in the following two decades Church perfected his evolving method of annihilation yeah and King Philip's War was between 1675 and 1678 I think I very much applaud Hawthorne for including those two examples in this story because if it was just people going to the woods and they have like illicit sex and like do spells and stuff that's not interesting but if the Satanism becomes geopolitical and like what is our society doing to sort of maintain the facade that we see every day mm-hmm that's that's much much more interesting yeah it opens is that this is that where Indians or there were his term Indians where they where they live is essentially the devil's workshop but now become him Hawthorne muddies that water immediately by saying well did you know this horrible thing that your grandfather did which happens to be uh and it's in the stories own parlance would be like well that would be just like slaughtering demons but it's known it's seen as a very negative thing that his grandfather did so all of a sudden that it plays with symbols in a way that it's never really concrete mm-hmm have we had along this path and return so smartly through the streets of Salem and it was I that brought your father a pitch pine not kindled at my own hearth to set fire to an Indian village in King Philip's War they were my good friends both just one more note on that setting villages on fire is literally what we did in Vietnam yeah like that's if Oh Scott's right it's almost unbelievable 1675 and that's not where we started that I think the Pequot War is well we'll talk about and hope Leslie may be the first American full-on like oh yeah we're just exterminating now yeah guerilla warfare is something that we're it's just gonna keep coming back to again and again and again the you know the longer we go down this like American history counterinsurgency and that sort of thing and like yeah it like they're making us do this it's amazing that like god these Indians are skulking the skulking and fighting is later how we would break about how we beat the British yeah and in that in that context it's prideful but also an outlier in like American activity throughout the year it's like one of the may be the only moment it's an insurgent force right and many a pleasant walk have we had along this path and returned merrily after midnight I would fain be friends with you for their sake if it be as thou sayest replied Goodman Brown I marveled they never spoke of these matters or verily I marvel not seeing that the least rumor of the sort would have driven them from New England we are a people of prayer and good works to boot and abide no such wickedness wickedness or not said the traveler with the twisted staff I have a very general acquaintance here in New England the Deacons of many a church have drunk the communion wine with me the selectmen of diverse towns make me their chairman and a majority of the great and general court our firm supporters of my interest the governor and I too but these are state secrets can this be so cried Goodman Brown with a stare of amazement at his undisturbed companion howbeit I have nothing to do with the governor and council they have their own ways and are no rule for a simple husbandmen like me but who were I to go on with thee how should I meet the eye of that good old man our Minister at Salem Village Oh all the people in powerful positions secular powerful positions they're all compromised but how can I face the preacher right like this is very much I think where we are in America in certain ways never before in history is it but so easy to see the nefarious things America has been doing under the of Darkness to maintain a certain type of global order that perhaps would be better than a lot of different other countries if they were the global Empire however when you're the global Empire you have to take account for the responsibility for those sorts of things so like the this seemed that like the the all the state their state secrets that become disillusioning and how you react to that that is the most interesting lens to view this story to me well yeah and that there's they're laying out that Puritan New England has a double the city the devil is basically pointing out that there's a double reality going on in New England there's what they do and there's what they present and it's interesting that Goodman Brown brings that up as a defense of his own faith right away by saying well I'm from a long history of good people right so it's out it's it's like outward displays or works which is we'll get into that with the Scarlet Letter very interesting for a Protestant to be laying claim to like well we have good work so we're good people and he was the demon devil whatever it is is able to poke through that immediately listen there's like it there's there's two different worlds going on one that's being presented and one that state secrets and that's definitely how we understand these where we come from in a lot of these cases yeah right like the myths of Puritanism and the myths of like Thanksgiving all these things are aren't the true that aren't the whole truth by any extent of the imagination yeah like it it's as if pure it is amazing that they're gonna make something that's free of all the bullshit basically that we're gonna make a real society that stripped down when in reality it's another society that's obsessed with optics I said like obsessed with PR his voice would make me tremble both Sabbath day and lecture day thus far the elder traveler had listened with due gravity but now burst into a fit of irrepressible mirth shaking himself so violently that his snake-like staff actually seemed to wriggle in sympathy ha ha ha shouted he again and again then composing himself well go on Goodman Brown go on but prithee don't kill me with laughing well then to attend the matter at once say Goodman Brown considerably nettled there is my wife faith it would break her dear little heart and I'd rather break my own nay if that be the case answered the other key and go thy ways Goodman Brown I would not for twenty old women like the one hobbling before us that faith should come to any harm as he spoke he pointed his staff at a female figure on the path in whom Goodman Brown recognized a very pious and exemplary Dame who had taught him his catechism in youth and was still his moral and spiritual adviser jointly with the minister and Deacon Gookin a marvel truly that goody cloyse should be so far in the wilderness at nightfall said he but with your leave friend I shall take a cut through the woods until we have left this Christian woman behind being a stranger to you she might ask whom I was consorting with and whither I was going be it so said his fellow traveller we take you to the woods and let me keep the path accordingly the young man turned aside but took care to watch his companion who advanced softly along the road until he had come within a staffs length of the old Dame she meanwhile was making the best of her way with singular speed for so aged a woman and you know boy you're frightened critics we could be talking about the staff as a sort of phallic symbol right oh yeah some indistinct words a prayer doubtless as she went the traveler put forth his staff and touched her withered neck with what seemed the Serpent's tail the devil screamed the pious old lady then goody cloyce knows her old friends observed the traveler confronting her and leaning on his writhing stick ah forsooth and is that your worship indeed I really like that little reversal there like it seems very compact and the woman shrieks ah the devil oh right and you think like oh she's gonna be terrified and really she just it's in recognition yeah there you are my best friend Satan which is like that is imagine if you know I mean we can all imagine having this dream right yeah like I watched a hereditary in theaters a couple weeks ago and my favorite part of those movies and there's a similar part in the Paranormal Activity movies is when they show like party photos of like which parties in the 80s like they take Polaroids oh yeah and it's like this this evidence of this subculture this liquor sort of evil dark subculture and that stuff still sort of creeps me out a little bit like yes or a documentation of that yeah that it's hard it's it's like the uncanny right it that's something that if we are being Freudian the idea something is deeply disturbing because it breaks a reality but also confirms a preconceived bias that the world is actually mystical or there's purpose and reason behind it and there's active evil in the world so it's a it's like double emotion happening at the same time can make you ill almost cried the good name yeah truly is it and in the very image of my old Gossip Goodman Brown the grandfather of the silly fellow that now is but would your worship believe it my broomstick hath strangely disappeared that one is a little too much I think for me when she's like I've lost my broomstick yeah I'm a fucking witch and my black hat yeah like he's just like I just imagine Goodman Brown like with his hand over his face being like I think she might be a witch yeah like he's still holding out doubt like she just she just pledged allegiance to the devil you don't need to do any more I mean but I do appreciate as just a registering of like okay the witch witch cliche of of having a broom well also super mundane like I lost my broom is not scary there must be some domestic politics thing origin of this broom witch yeah I never thought about that yeah well maybe we get to that on a litter episode they're not cleaning they're busy flying around this instead of the instead of being a sort of implement of domestic obedience it's a it's a transportation see whoa yeah look out dudes Cory and that too when I was all anointed with the juice of small edge and cinquefoil and Wolfsbane mingled with fine wheat and the fat of a newborn babe said the shape of old good-sounding ah your worship knows the recipe cried the old lady cackling aloud so as I was saying being all ready for the meeting and no horse to ride on I made up my mind to foot it for they tell me there is a nice young man to be taken into communion tonight but now you're good worship will lend me your arm and we shall be there in a twinkling that can hardly be answered her friend I may not spare you my arm could decoys but here is my staff if you will so same he threw it down at her feet where perhaps it assumed life being one of the rods which its owner had formerly lent to the Egyptian Magi of this fact however Goodman Brown could not take cognizance he had cast off his eyes in astonishment and looking down again beheld neither goody cloyce nor the serpentine staff but his fellow-traveller alone who waited for him as calmly as if nothing had happened well the staff is interesting as it exemplifies how Hawthorne plays with cymbals because the immediate analogy you would draw from as would be the snake in the Garden of Eden because that makes sense because Hawthorne you know he's learning about the truth about good and evil which is that Genesis story but then he throws in that reference to be the Egyptian Magi which then he goes to Exodus and that's what Pharaoh's magicians were able to turn their stabs and the stinks when they confronted Moses and Aaron so all of a sudden the snake represents two or three different aspects of Christian lore that have radically different implications who waited for him is calmly as if nothing had happened that old woman taught me my catechism said the young man and there was a world of meaning in this simple statement they continued to walk onward while the elder traveller exhorted his companion to make good speed and persevere in the path this coursing so aptly that his arguments seemed rather to spring up in the bosom of his auditor than to be suggested by himself as they went he plucked a branch of maple to serve for a walking stick and began to strip it of the twigs and little boughs which were wet with even do the moment his fingers touched them they became strangely withered and dried up as with a weak sunshine thus the pair proceeded at a good free pace until suddenly in a gloomy hollow of the road Goodman Brown sat himself down on the stump of a tree and refused to go any farther friend said he stubbornly my mind is made up not another step will I pass on this errand what if a wretched old woman do choose to go to the devil when I thought she was going to heaven is that any reason why I should quit my dear faith and go after her you will think better of this by-and-by said his acquaintance composedly sit here and rest yourself awhile and when you feel like moving again there is my staff to help you along without more words he threw his companion the maple stick and was a speedily out of sight as if he had vanished into the deepening gloom the young man sat a few moments by the roadside applauding himself greatly and thinking with how clear a conscience he should meet the minister in his morning walk nor shrink from the eye of good old Deacon Gookin and what calm sleep would be his that very night which was to have been spent so wickedly but so purely and sweetly now in the arms of faith amidst these pleasant and praiseworthy meditations Goodman Brown heard the Tramp of horses along the road and deemed it advisable to conceal himself within the verge of the forest conscious of the guilty purpose that had brought him thither though now so happily turned from it on came the hoof tramps and the voices of the riders to grave old voices conversing soberly as they drew near these mingled sounds appeared to pass along the road within a few yards of the young man's hiding-place but when doubtless to the depth of the gloom at that particular spot neither the travelers nor their steeds were visible though their figures brushed the small bowel a side it could not be seen that they intercepted even for a moment the faint gleam from the strip of bright sky affort which they must have passed Goodman Brown alternately crouched and stood on tiptoe pulling aside the branches and thrusting forth his head as far as he Durst without discerning so much as a shadow it backs him the more because he could have sworn were such a thing possible that he recognized the voices of the minister and Deacon Gookin jogging along quietly as they were want to do when bound to some ordination for ecclesiastical counsel while yet within hearing one of the riders stopped to pluck a switch of the two Reverend sir said the voice like the Deacons I had rather miss an ordination dinner than tonight's meeting they tell me that some of our community are to be here from Falmouth and beyond and others from Connecticut and Rhode Island beside several at the Indian powwow who after their fashion know almost as much devil tree as the best of all so that that's the second time they talk about like oh I'm excited to come to the communion tonight because we're going to be and they'd say we're gonna be having this young man and this young woman join us and it's this wide society people come in from all different parts of the colonies and also an interface with Native American powwows that those things are tied with Satanism I think explains a lot about the Puritan consciousness yes and it's interesting to think that the devil and his company are very accommodating which is not what you think of when you think of Puritan culture you have to imagine that the initiation ceremony into a Puritan society would be a lot more strict whereas the Devils like it hey if you need a break you take a break yeah basically the openness of the community is very interesting and the way that they talk about the bringing somebody into the congregation and the excitement that everybody has around that is very I think alluring even though even though we like see him and say like yeah I was there when I helped your grandfather you know beat Quaker women and kill Native Americans it's like you know people are excited to come join us mm-hmm and when anybody whoever you are you hear somebody else expressed their desire for something you internalize that and say like do I also want that yeah that part is the way that Hawthorne makes that it's so like alluring more interesting like because you can see there's some social gravity behind what's going on here it's he it's the most prominent people in the society the woman who taught him eucharist or that what you said and everybody's excited about it and there's a sense of community so like it's more over there is a goodly young woman to be taken into communion mighty well Deacon Gookin replied the solemn old tones with the minister oh wait spur up or we shall be late you know about that so these these names that they're bring up these are historical people I I didn't know much about that I've been reading that which i think is um an interesting move on his part light as a form of early call out culture yeah I say these people are in league with the devil and he does that too with with the Maples marymount like Endicott does yeah a real figure too and Hawthorne sources weren't the best maybe we'll play a little bit of it actually do I have that right now anyway yeah basically Hoffman when he was at Bowdoin read a lot of Puritan history a lot of it at he graduated in his mid-20s he was sort of like a struggling writer living with his mother his dad dad knew his younger inish and he was a marine sort of privateer type figure you can't tell what what Hawthorne would have intended but it seems like colonial New England and Puritan New England weighed heavily on him like what they did and what they went through in a way that I know it's a significant departure historically but at this moment the Salem witch trials are largely a tourist destination now like these like dressed up like witches and stuff like that but the way he talked about or the way they talked about history like the pain of history resting on these characters and resting on him reminds me of how we talked about the Civil War now no it's not necessarily over that there's still aspects of it that are potent even today yeah and I think even more broadly like this is what Hawthorne sort of about as these inheritances from the past yeah yeah you know I said house of Seven Gables explicitly so what yeah I think if what if I had to nail down what what is sinful about or what's wicked about Goodman Browns journey into the forest is that he's going into the book of history like he's opening up what really happened when he wasn't there and seeing his parents and his grandfather and all those mentors yeah and getting to see them clearly like from like a God level perspective and how that can destroy your understanding of the world basically nothing can be done you know until I get on the ground so hopes clattered again and the voices talking so strangely in the empty air passed on through the forest where no church had ever been gathered or solitary Christian prayed whither then could these holy men be journeying so deep into the heathen wilderness Young Goodman Brown caught hold of a tree for support being ready to sink down on the ground faint and overburdened with the heavy sickness of his heart he looked up to the sky doubting whether there really was a heaven above him yet there was the blue arch and the Stars brightening in it with heaven above and faith below I will yet stand firm against the devil cried Goodman Brown while he still gazed upward into the deep arch of the firmament and had lifted his hands to pray a cloud though no wind was stirring hurried across the zenith and hid the brightening stars the blue sky was still visible except directly overhead where this black mass of cloud was sweeping swiftly northward aloft in the air as if from the depths of the cloud came a confused and doubtful sound of voices once the listener fancied that he could distinguish the accents of townspeople of his own men and women both pious and ungodly many of whom he had met at the communion table and had seen others riding at the tavern the next moment so indistinct where the sounds he doubted whether he had heard aught with the murmur of the old forest whispering without a wind then came a stronger swell of those familiar tones her daily in the sunshine at Salem Village but never until now from a cloud of night there was one voice of a young woman uttering lamentations yet with an uncertain sorrow and entreating for some favor which perhaps it would grieve her to obtain and all the unseen multitude both saints and sinners seemed to encourage her onward faith shouted Goodman Brown and a voice of agony and desperation and the echoes of the forest mocked him crying faith faith as if bewildered wretches were seeking her all through the wilderness the cry of grief rage and terror was yet piercing the night when the unhappy husband held his breath for a response there was a scream drowned immediately in a louder murmur of voices fading into far-off laughter as the dark cloud swept away leaving the clear and silent sky above Goodman Brown it's a pretty interesting and trippy little scene there mm-hmm I got it I don't it's it's just it just strikes me as good like Stephen King on the Wikipedia page for Young Goodman Brown he he cites this is his favorite Hawthorne story yeah and I actually like after reading that it makes perfect sense to me oh yeah for a story that's meant to be or lays itself out in the beginning as an allegory it is smart enough to play with your bearings as a reader of like what's happening where what's happening wind keeps shifting and the reality of the situation you can't really trust it which I think sometimes allegory that can become so rigid yeah like that was yeah like this represents this and this represents that whereas Hawthorne I think is smart enough to kind of play with those symbols but something fluttered lightly down through the air and on the branch of a tree the young man seized it and beheld a pink ribbon my faith is gone as soon as I said that after one skip a five moment there is no good on earth and sin is but a name come devil for to thee is this world given and maddened with despair so that he laughed loud and long did Goodman Brown grasp his staff and set forth again there's no good was there is no good on earth and sin is about a name that reminds me of that Shakespeare quote hell is empty and all the devils are here oh yeah yeah yeah it reminded me of this whole story reminds me a lot of Mark Twain's last book the mysterious stranger and the devil has this monologue at the emesis you were but a thought a vagrant thought wandering the universe very similar to that like there's no there's no anything which you know kind of seems paradoxical to me because I feel like if I got an affirmation that the devil existed right I would think okay well that God definitely yeah I wouldn't think like oh fuck it's the devil yeah the devil is right there is nothing true except he's existent so it suggests otherwise a supernatural being is right that this is there's nothing too extra out there yeah and I definitely think that's what Hawthorne is playing at then it's like when we were talking about earlier about the binary nature of Puritanism it's amazing how quickly he turns into a nihilist within I mean within his moments of discovering that his grandfather wasn't what he is and that the woman who taught him his catechism isn't who she is she's a witch he's like oh okay then there is no sense there and there's no point to anything I'm gonna scream like a maniac in the forest come devil for today is this world given and maddened with despair so that he laughed loud and long did Goodman Brown grasp his staff and set forth again at such a rate that he seemed to fly along the forest path rather than to walk or run the road grew wilder and dreary er and more faintly traced and it appeared to fly and not to run that like is that is there some supernatural going on here is that just the appearance of it that also comes up a lot in Scarlet Letter yeah an estate length leaving him in the heart of the dark wilderness still rushing onward with the instinct that guides mortal men to evil the whole forest was peopled with frightful sounds the creaking of the trees the howling of wild beasts and the yell of Indians while sometimes the wind tolled like a distant church bell and sometimes gave a broad roar around the traveler as if all nature were laughing him to scorn but he was himself the chief horror of the scene and shrank not from its other whores ha ha ha Roy Goodman Brown when the wind laughed at him let us here which will laugh loudest think not to frighten me with your devil tree come which come wizard come Indian powwow come devil himself and here comes Goodman Brown you may as well fear him as he fear you in truth all through the haunted forest there could be nothing more frightful than the figure of Goodman Brown on he flew among the black pines brandishing his staff with frenzied gestures now giving vent to an inspiration of horrid blasphemy and now shouting forth such laughter has said all the echoes of the forest laughing like demons around him the fiend in his own shape is less hideous than when he rages in the breasts of man the sped the demoniac on his course until quivering among the trees he saw a red light before him as when the felled trunks and branches of a clearing have been set on fire and throw up their lurid blaze against the sky at the hour of midnight he paused in a lull of the tempest that had driven him onward and heard the swell of what seemed to him rolling solemnly from a distance with the weight of many voices he knew the tune it was a familiar one in the choir of the village meeting house the verse died heavily away and was lengthened by a chorus not of human voices but of all the sounds of the benighted wilderness pealing an awful harmony together Goodman Brown cried out and his cry was lost to his own ear by its unison with the cry of the desert in the interval of silence he stole forward until the light glared full upon his eyes at one extremity of an open space hemmed in by the dark wall of the forest a Rosa Rock bearing some rude natural resemblance either to an altar or a pulpit and surrounded by four blazing Pines their tops aflame their stems untouched like candles had an evening meeting the mass of foliage that had overgrown the summit of the rock was all on fire blazing high into the night and fitfully illuminating the whole field each pendent twig and leafy festoon was in a place as the red light arose and fell a numerous congregation alternately shone forth then disappeared in shadow and again grew as it were out of the darkness people in the heart of the solitary woods at once a grave and dark glad company quoth Goodman Brown in truth they were such among them quivering to and fro between gloom and splendor appeared faces that would be seen next day at the council board of the province and others which Sabbath after Sabbath looked at out Lee heavenward and benign and Lee over the crowded views from the holiest pulpits in the land some affirmed that the lady of the governor was there at least there were high dames well known to her and wives of honored husbands and widows and a great multitude and ancient maidens lot of excellent and fair young girls who trembled lest emotion spy when it comes to the devil yeah either the sudden gleams of light flashing over the obscure field bedazzled Goodman Brown or he recognized a score of the church members of Salem Village famous for their especial sanctity good old Deacon Gookin had arrived and waited at the skirts of that venerable st. his revered pastor but irreverently consorting with these grave reputable and pious persons these elders of the church these chaste Dame's and dewy virgins there were men of dissolute lives and women of spotted fame dewy virgins as a never heard of before I don't think I want to hear too disgusting yeah I mean it's like within it's actually almost worse than doughy virgins I think it is yeah sweaty ratchets given over to all mean and filthy vice and suspected even of horrid crimes it was strange to see that the good shrank not from the wicked nor where the sinners abashed by the Saints scattered also among their pale faced enemies for the Indian priests or powwows who had often scared their native forests with more hideous incantations than any known to English witchcraft okay so the idea that the powwow sneeze literally leaving his cards out now III think about this every once well it's like if especially in the context of like Puritans thinking Native Americans had this sort of scary magic imagine if they fucking did how different history would be fucking awesome yeah like I don't know if I'm sighting this correctly there's like a rain dancer there towards a little later like in the last decade of the 19th century there's a big in Dakota Territory Native Americans that were doing these dances that like we're gonna be am it's gonna make us invincible sort of thing yeah I can't remember like I wish that was true yeah I can awesome yeah I like the touch of like it's even worse Center which is in Europe and it's just like you just can't get over it can you say every time you go somewhere that's like the person right next to you they're just like oh my god this person is horrifying yeah there's a scary thing yeah exactly even out there match a little bit but where is faith thought Goodman Brown and as hope came into his heart he trembled another verse of the hymn arose a slow and mournful strain such as the pious love but joined two words which expressed all that our nature can conceive of sin and darkly hinted at far more unfathomable to mere mortals is the lure of fiends verse after verse was son and still the course of the desert swelled between like the deepest tone of a mighty organ and with the final peal of that dreadful anthem there came a sound as if the roaring wind the rushing streams the howling beasts and every other voice of the unconsidered wilderness were mingling and according with the voice of guilty man in homage to the prince of all the four blazing pines threw up a loftier flame and obscurely discovered shapes and visages of horror on smoke wreaths a of the impious assembly at the same moment the fire on the rock shot redly forth and formed a glowing arch above its base where now appear to figure with reverence be it spoken the figure bore no slight similitude both in garb and manner to some grave divine of the New England churches bring forth the converts cried a voice that echoed through the field and rolled into the forest at the word Goodman Brown stepped forth from the shadow of the trees and approached the congregation with whom he felt a low full brotherhood by the sympathy of all that was wicked in his heart he could have well nigh sworn that the shape of his own dead father beckoned him to advance looking downward from a smoke wreath while a woman with dim features of despair threw out her hand to warn him back was it his mother but he had no power to retreat one step nor to resist even in thought when the minister and good old Deacon Gookin seized his arms and led him to the blazing rock there came also the slender form of a failed female led between goody cloyce that pious teacher of the Catechism and Martha carrier who had received the devil's promise to be queen of Hell a rampant hag was she so personal yeah a rampant egg was she like a hag that just get like has been flying around all of New England so everyone knows she's ahead she's in rampant what you're just like unrelenting in her Hagen everybody yeah I guess it's will be frustrating for the modern reader if it starts out in a way that speaks to our modern sympathies of like you shouldn't commit genocide or like you shouldn't persecute people for being witches because that's ridiculous and then it makes a sharp turn which it in this story where he aligns himself with the devil and it finds out that his teacher is a witch that the great sin of the Salem witch trials was not the fact that they were persecuting people for being quote-unquote witches it's that they got the wrong people mmm that witchcraft is real and Satanism is real they just happened to they got the wrong ones that's my reading of this anyway said it kind of understand that it's of its own place in its own time but it's like as a modern reader that when it falls flat of what it could have what I was assuming it would be or the possibility what it could have been right okay yeah welcome my children said the dark figure to the communion of your race you have found thus young your nature and your destiny my children look behind you they turned and flashing forth as it were in a sheet of flame the fiend worshippers were seen the smile of welcome gleamed darkly on every visit their resume disabled form our all whom ye have reverenced from youth he deemed them holier than yourselves and shrank from your own sin contrasting it with their lives of righteousness and prayerful aspirations heavenward yet here are they all in my worshipping assembly this night it shall be granted you to know their secret deeds how hoary bearded elders of the church have whispered wanton words to the young maids of their households graven by the pussy how many a woman eager for widow's weeds has given her husband a drink at bedtime and let him sleep his last sleep in her bosom yeah that's nuts how beardless to other women who have poisoned their husbands yeah and what the hell yeah youths have made haste to inherit their father's wealth and how fair damsels plus not sweet ones have dug little graves in the garden and bidden me the sole guest to an infant's funeral by the sympathy of your human hearts for sin ye shall sent out all the places whether in church bed chamber Street field or forest where crime has been committed and shall exalt to behold the whole earth one stain of guilt one mighty blood spot far more than this it shall be yours to penetrate in every bosom the deep mystery of sin the fountain of all wicked arts and which inexhaustibly supplies more evil impulses than human power then my power at its utmost can make manifest in deeds and now my children look upon each other they did so and by the blaze of the Hell kindled torches the wretched man beheld his faith and a wife her husband trembling before that unhallowed altar lo there you stand my child and said the figure in a deep in solemn tone almost sad with its despairing awfulness as if his once angelic nature could yet mourn for our miserable race depending upon one another's hearts he had still hoped that virtue were not all a dream now are ye undeceived evil is the nature of mankind evil must be your only happiness welcome again my children to the communion of your race welcome repeated the fiend worshippers in one cry of despair and triumph and there they stood the only pair as it seemed who are yet hesitating on the verge of wickedness in this dark world a basin was hollowed naturally in the rock did it contain water reddened by the lurid light or was it blood or perchance a liquid flame herein did the shape of evil dip his hand and I like that touch I like the idea of him being it playing with cymbals again talking about blood and what I assume be baptizing him blood which is exactly that's it that's straight-up Christian doctrine be washed in the blood of the Lamb but this is like a witch's Sabbath so it's the same symbol but from a different background like it sounds that could make the blood of history or something there's a lot of that sort of duality like the the way that they refer to the Prince right and and Jesus also referred to as the Prince maybe less now than at this time I'm not sure but but but definitely like the devil is constantly referred to as the Prince yeah and that the devil essentially is a Puritan of just with a different outwardly just with different beliefs like he still follows this like they still do rituals yes which is almost identical it's just that they happen to be like they're praying to something different to wickedness or was it blood or perchance a liquid flame herein did the shape of evil dip his hand and prepare to lay the mark of baptism upon their foreheads that they might be partakers of the mystery of sin more conscious of the secret guilt of others both in deed and then they could now be of their own the husband cast one look at his pale wife and faith at him what polluted wretches with the next glance show them to each other shuddering alike at what they disclosed and what they saw faith faith cried the husband look up to heaven and resist the wicked one whether faith will paid he knew not hardly had he spoken when he found himself amid calm night and solitude listening to a roar of the wind which died heavily away through the forest he staggered against the rock and felt a chill and damp while a hanging twig that had been all on fire besprinkled his cheek with the coldest do the next morning Young Goodman Brown came slowly into the streets of Salem Village staring around him like a bewildered man the good old minister was taking a walk along the graveyard to get an appetite for breakfast and meditate his sermon and bestowed a blessing as he passed on Goodman Brown he shrank from the venom but such a that's such a can eighties movie quality too it's like are you okay yeah and there's a good ear just like what what what year is it the exact same sort of thing happens in scarlet letter when Dimmesdale and Hester have a meeting in the woods and he comes back and he wants so like whisper blasphemies and they're like followers of his yeah yeah hell isn't really weird oh yeah yeah we're just like yeah this guy just had a horrific supernatural occurrence and there's this guy who's just completely ignorant bliss like I'm gonna work up this appetite for breakfast work on my sermon and God bless you good man and and yeah Young Goodman Brown Satan yeah exactly which is I Kings have just dipped in the blood of Satan's people Saint as if to avoid an anathema all Deacon Gookin was at domestic worship and the holy words of his prayer were heard through the open window what God Dolph the wizard pray to quoth Goodman Brown goody cloyce that excellent old Christian stood in the early sunshine at her own lattice catechizing a little girl who had brought her a pint of mornings milk Goodman Brown snatched away the child as from the grass but the fiend himself turning the corner by the meetinghouse he spied the head of faith with the pink ribbons gazing anxiously forth and bursting into such joy at sight of him that she skipped along the street and almost kissed her husband before the whole village but Goodman Brown looked sternly and sadly into her face and passed on without a greeting had Goodman Brown fallen asleep in the forest and only dreamed a wild dream of a witch meeting be it so if he will but alas it was a dream of evil omen for Young Goodman Brown a stern a sad a darkly meditative a distrustful if not a desperate man did he become from the night of that fearful dream on the Sabbath day when the congregation were singing a holy Psalm he could not listen because an anthem of sin rust loudly upon his ear and drowned all the blessed strain when the minister spoke from the pulpit with power and fervid eloquence and with his hand on the open Bible of the sacred truths of our religion and of saint-like lives and triumphant deaths and a future bliss or misery unutterable then did Goodman Brown turn pale dreading lest the roof should Thunder down upon the gray blasphemer and his hearers often waking suddenly at midnight he shrank from the bosom of faith and at morning or evening tide when the family knelt down at prayer he scowled and muttered to himself and gazed sternly at his wife and turned away and when he had lived long and was born to his grave a hoary corpse followed by faith the road grew wilder and dreary er and more faintly traced and vanished at length leaving him in the heart of the dark wilderness still rushing onward with the instinct had Goodman Brown fallen asleep in the forest when the minister spoke from the pulpit with power but deaths and a future bliss or misery unutterable then did Goodman Brown turn pale dreading lest the roof should Thunder down upon the gray blasphemer and his hearers often waking suddenly at midnight he shrank from the bosom of faith and at morning or evening tide when the family knelt down at prayer he scowled and muttered to himself and gazed sternly at his wife and turned away and when he had lived long and was born to his grave a hoary corpse followed by faith an aged woman and children and grandchildren a goodly procession besides neighbors not a few they carved no hopeful verse upon his tombstone for his dying hour was gloom the end of Young Goodman Brown it's quite the ambiguous ending yeah as far as what you're supposed to take away this did I feel like I felt a number of different ways about how that syncs up with the rest of the story my initial response was that that's the price of enlightenment is that your alone that you don't get it you don't get it go along with the lie like the rest of Salem New England right and you know the education has that kind of effect on you especially learning history especially learning history of people that are near you that you can't unsee or unlearn things and it makes him like self segregate from society which is maybe that's like what the lore of the devil isn't that story that's like yeah we're all committing sin but we all belong to something right and Goodman Brown is doesn't gonna enjoy seemingly anything after that like an oversimplification would say this is like a sort of curiosity killed the cat right and yeah I think it is sort of it definitely plays you can have a reading where this is actually like a sort of whistleblowing type of thing or I would say sort of don't go looking at things you shouldn't be you're not prepared to understand yeah sort of thing and I think Hawthorn especially we know Hawthorne is conservatism I think both readings are fairly justified yeah I think so there were Terry Eagle Eggleton I think is his name just wrote a short book on radical sacrifice and he there was a chapter we discussed a lot about how barbarity and society are actually two sides of the same coin more often than not that barbarity upholds society and I think that this story dovetails into that sentiment very nicely wrote that in Goodman Browns consciousness the evil and wickedness is out in the dark forests but in reality it's just a the flip of a it's like the the opposite end of society not the opposite end it's just all the players in society are there and they all feel very welcome there and when they're in the light of day that's when they're pretending and that's when they're fake and I feel like it's a it's a positive thing that you know the way like all the things that are sort of under the Satanic umbrella here from the like oppression of different sort of oppressed groups like Quakers or Native Americans it sort of puts things like maybe sexual dalliance and weird rituals along and that you don't understand often like maybe Native American rituals into the same bucket as these sorts of real oppression things and I mean it is nice to be in a different time where say like two men sleeping with each other isn't interpreted as a sign of the devil yeah there's actually much more mundane than that yeah yeah the amount of things you wouldn't understand especially as a Puritan is off the scale like that it's not a surprise that this is a community that went insane with the witch trials this is a way in like one of the main things you look for an occult is sort of management of what communications and information that the members here mm-hmm and especially at this time in history like it was a it was difficult to not be in a cult yeah certain respect let's go to a little bit more of this I want to play this University of Houston I would the lecture on health and that we went to a little bit because he really teased off on onion Goodman Brown in a way that I found kind of amusing now I've said that Young Goodman Brown is a naive young man he's supposedly a good man as his name would suggest but his fateful journey into the forest is naively stupid here for instance he says my love and my faith of all nights in the year this one night must I carry away from thee my journey must needs be done twixt now and sunrise it's been suggested that this of all nights in the year one critic I think I guess Harry Levin suggested that this is probably October 31st which is what All Hallows Eve Halloween comes from interesting because that that particular evil night goes back finally into into Catholicism but this is something that has survived into Protestantism but certainly he's he's naive he's taking chances in being tempting kept it you know he's turning over his fate into the powers of evil and and then he seems what's odd about it is having done this himself he seems so naive that he doesn't expect that other people will do the same he's quite surprised to see all these good citizens out there but I suppose he thinks himself as good citizen yet he's kind of surprised to see all the other good citizens of Salem out there in the forest doing what he's doing and these words of course quoted here to his wife are naive and condescending say thy prayers dear faith and go to bed at dusk and no harm will come to thee and his subsequent subsequently expressed belief that after this one night he can cling to faith faith skirts and follow her to heaven also seems foolhardy and and naive he's tampering in with in a Puritan system and I realize this this may not make a whole huge Marv upon a twentieth-century reader but within the Puritan system he is tampering with his eternal salvation here that's clear if you get within the context of the story which we need to do when we read HOF on those are stakes I think are very hard to relate to yeah like oh fuck I just fucked this up and if they weren't hard to relate to I wouldn't be going into the fucking woods yeah well it's 30 I mean in the story is thoroughly Puritan in that sense er you can't dabble with sin you either are elect or you're damned and that may have been Goodman Browns fatal premise that he thought he could like just you know I just wanna I just want to check it out I just want to see what it looks like and I'll leave and Hawthorne was like now but also the weird thing of I don't want anybody else to have done this yeah either wheezes like that that reminds you of like the sort of anti-gay preachers that turn out to be gay like that sort of like a self-hating response well that dichotomy was already living in Goodman Brown before he went to the forest that he wants to be seen as something much different than what he is right like he in multiple parts in the story he's terrified to find out that someone would see him yeah and then also his wife's faith his wife faith her one of the few allegories I like is her pink ribbon that keeps coming up which is similar to like the he likes these signifiers like the minister's Black Veil the Scarlet Letter and the pink ribbon the thing is that like often I mean in this case like textiles of a specific color that meaning can be assigned to yeah yeah I it's it's a good image for someone like Goodman Brown see it's an outward signifier that I'm this kind of person you know I'm a Puritan and how quickly it's a it his faith is hanging by a thread literally yeah and as soon as that thread pops off her hat it's gone I want to play just a little bit more from the wine Apple this is from her actual autobiography the book this is when Hawthorne was sort of education he's like I said he's in his mid to late 20s throughout he writes a book he's about 28 called like Fanshawe which he later burns and repeated doesn't mention his wife literally didn't know he wrote it until after Hawthorn died Jesus just to stay on Young Goodman Brown Young Goodman Brown was written 1835 anonymously in the New England magazine in 1837 he came out with twice told tales which is what the maple on Marymount is right we read and also ministers black veil on a few others he did not include this in that collection and the speculation is that it was too sort of autobiographical II revealing or he thought it was too earlier there's some sort of reason he didn't want to include this story he later included into mosses from an old man's that you wouldn't choose this as an interesting choice to me here's um Brenda wine apple a little bit on his relationship to well he is on his relationship in the past Nathaniel rummaged among the dusty wills and papers carefully preserved in Salem initiating genealogical and antiquarian investigations that lasted a lifetime identifying with the ancient Athens in his imaginative life he began to underplay his connection to the Mannings if he didn't much like his father's side of the family reputedly he told a friend he wanted no connection to them he begrudgingly admired their self regarding vanity so different from the secular strivings of blacksmiths and bookkeepers as a consequence he relentlessly perused old documents in pursuit of something more personal than source material patrimony the kind taken for granted by his college friends with the self-assurance he did not share men like Frank Pierce or Stephen Longfellow and they were not exceptional could lean on or rebel against living fathers of distinction in mark descent path urn had the descent not the distinction his own father had died without rejuvenating the ancestral name yet a shabby gentility was better than none and so Nathaniel carried himself with the melancholy a claw of a young Lord burdened by inconsolable loss yeah so that there's the Hawthorne sort of in his late 20s reckoned like he is but like I said his father died when he was young III think that plays into him we don't have ha Thorne's letters to Melville gonna have Melville's letter to Hawthorne but I think that's why a thorn was interested in Melville yeah because he was a seafaring guy sort of thing and and Hawthorne a number of and he went to Liverpool he got around but he also felt like when he was in Salem he was sort of trapped and there's a different life from people who are on the sea versus on land lock basically hmm but here he is a bit later and this takes us actually to the production of a Young Goodman Brown the the token that's referenced here is is an interesting sort of publication thing where it's like a gift book that comes out in the holiday season in the month and Hoth and would occasionally have a couple of short stories in there was resolved not to declare himself until the curiosity and enthusiasm aroused by his anonymous writings had reached such a pitch as to render concealment no longer possible this way he'd save himself embarrassment by bounding as it were on to the literary scene without an audience for his work having been established it was a calculation savvy and self protective and fully in keeping with the pose of author as the gentleman on the steeple top who didn't write for money Hawthorne wasn't successful he'd planned to bring out Fanshawe said heap to whet the public's appetite for seven tales but the novel had not sold and the tales went uncollected so to the manuscript of provincial tales which probably languished in goodrich's drier especially since he could make use of individual stories in the token of course Hawthorne consented to carving it up what choice did he have he must have wondered he gave Goodrich the gentle boy my kinsman major Molyneux Roger Melvin's burial and the wives of the dead for the 1832 token published at the end of 1831 and perhaps he justified the decision the antiquarian Joseph B felt had brought out the very popular annals of Salem in 1827 and in 1831 both John Greenleaf Whittier sledge ins of New England and Delia Bacon's tales of the Puritans appeared the field was small and crowded but with Goodrich still eager for more material Hawthorne was launched after a fashion and none too soon in 1831 he turned 27 heap said he had not expected to live to be 25 I nursed a regretful desire to be summoned early from the scene he wrote in mock retrospect explaining that he who has a part in the serious business of life though it be only as a shoemaker feels himself equally respectable in youth and age and therefore is content to live IT is far otherwise with the busy idlers of the world yet not three years after the publication of Fanshawe Hawthorne wanted to expunge it from his past it mortified him so he got hold of heaps copy which she never saw again and at Hawthorne's request Horatio bridge destroyed his Hawthorne's wife would never even learn a Fanshawe's existence until after his death an avid reader Hawthorne carefully assessed the word of his competitors Ebru called him studying a great many novels and in particular works by women writers those ink-stained Amazon's who he feared could bump their male rivals right out of the field petticoats triumphant the terms are Hawthorne's and they appear in the introductory paragraph of his historical sketch mrs. Hutchinson published in the Salem Gazette in December 1830 corn was using mrs. Hutchinson to some extent to inveigh against women writers in the troubling question of feminine ambition his argument goes like this at present there are no women quite like the brave Anne Hutchinson Anne antinomian banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for preaching especially at her trial that God communicated by direct revelation she needed no priestly interlocutors or patriarchs to parcel out God's Word these days says Hawthorne contemporary women exploit the popular press not an apostate Church as the medium through which feminine ambition chiefly manifests itself the phenomenon however isn't entirely positive to be any good as a writer a woman must sacrifice a part of the loveliness of her sex Hawthorne declares and she is obliged to expose her naked mind to the gaze of the world with indications by widgets and most secrets may be searched out authorship then implies public exposure unbecoming improper and shameful or from another point of view why should women have to endure the various trials that authors undergo Hawthorne wanders with the ceaseless gallantry the condescension is obvious I yeah but the issue is personal Hawthorne is reflecting on the choices he's made or has felt compelled to make having taken up a profession storytelling fraught with insecurity vanity and humiliation a profession regarded as irresponsible and disreputable and likely to become even more so with women successfully enter it that would prove that fiction is a kind of woman's work decorative and useless an idlers trade not a manly one it is one of my few sources of pride Hawthorne defended himself in another context that ridiculous as the object was I followed it up with a firmness and energy of a man if the writer is adria he is also a hero of sorts ironically like in Hutchinson who emerges in Hawthorne sketches pilloried and yet grand intelligent standing unafraid before her judges with a flash of carnal pride half hidden in her eye however he has to make sure that she as his signal female courageous smart and sexy does not best him for she is not only complex but composite a version of EEP a version of his mother the widow who for a time ventured a different life and something of himself as author surmounting inhibitions and relinquishing the immunities of a private character as he admits elsewhere and giving every man and for money to the right of treating me with open score but mrs. Hutchinson accepted in most of Hawthorne's early tales and sketches women functioned largely as cardboard props in which Hawthorne is not invested the damsel in distress Fanshawe the anguished wife in Roger Melvin's burial innocence wronged Alice tones appeal and inevitably temptation the woman with a scarlet petticoat and my kinsman major Molyneux though people with stock women these stories nonetheless shiver with a phantom sexuality fearsome in inappropriate funeral bells toll at marriages strange old spinsters interrupts wedding ceremonies loving husbands intend to kill their loving wives and a young minister dons a black veil for no apparent reason in the particularly Fine Young Goodman Brown marital bliss hours after the newly weds Brown deserts his wife faith for a night's frolic in the woods losing his moral virginity and one in furs his sexual innocence but unable to confront his own desires more subversive than he knew Young Goodman Brown cannot endure anyone else's and he returns to the village a harried man condemned for his squeamishness to a lonely desperate death it will not be the first time that the Hawthorne character comes home trapped confused and lonely yeah that really exposes a lot of hot thorns psyche and it's interesting cuz you know we're in this moment of you know you have people like Dave Rubin Jordan Peterson talk about how the sjw's are drowning out conversation right yeah this podcast is actually going to show that that's a bunch of bullshit because we are going to spend a lot of time on writers and even at times applauding their work who their politics fucking suck mm-hmm and they even Ford their time they were and I and I think Hawthorne is Hawthorne is very interesting to me because he strikes misses the like if I was a conservative it would have been in this way yeah I don't necessarily want to defend all the things that are being done but I also think that it might be some sort of a you know Divine Plan or something natural law yeah the and that's like one of the more time-tested tropes and get into it being like why shouldn't women be authors like because being an author sucks like I'm trying to help you okay I love I'm putting them on a pedestal like like what I'm doing here it sucks you know just like this stupidest fucking argument and like that's him you could walk down the street in here today easily I think I love women I protect women you know and that's why I don't want them being the president or baby or I don't know being in an office with me so basically compare this to the maple on Marymount do you think this is a more interesting story yeah I think there's I think that it tackles some of the same themes in the idea of society and how society grows and changes largely from what I can gather negatively for Hawthorne that society ossifies and become sick really quickly and I think for Hawthorne he would based on these two stories that's unavoidable it is a natural part of the process and it has to keep going in that way so both is it's both like a critical look at Society which is that's the part that's exciting to read yeah but then the second half the story is always like and that's essentially the only way we can exist yeah just like well that's just hopeless and also self-fulfilling yeah I think a Puritan that's mad that the Puritans aren't doing it more puritanical right someone who has sort of I think base and unenlightened and really like not even to me don't seem terribly well reflected upon it political opinions can when they are creating art make something that's actually much interrogate those things with a lot more incisiveness yeah like like I I think Scarlet Letter probably has a Liberatore effect on most of the readers yeah even though I think when we read that the conclusions aren't necessarily Liberatore like like it isn't a happy ending story and the same thing with this is like you can see Hawthorne aware of certain sort of societal ills that we would be aware of now but he's interested in them as sort of timeless unsolvable problems and a lot of his pathos comes from accepting that yeah and and that is as a window to the the conservative sort of middle class imagination I think Hawthorne is is really actually as talented of a writer as his reputation is and the interesting about him is he was always popular he was never like he was never he was selling a fraction to what like Harriet Beecher Stowe I wrote which is why he's so resentful of women like her but there was never a point from that point forward where he was out of the curriculum yeah I think there's one of the benefits of may be unforeseen benefits of him being able to be so agile with symbols and stories is that something that can give your writing and lasting quality because you get to bring to his stories your own worldview and you can kind of fill in those gaps of what represents what and one thing you learn and one thing Hawthorne I think learned from reading history is that the symbols do change yeah they don't stay the same over time I think yeah there's something interesting about and the couple of books that we've read that America still has a new idea as its own nation that they kind of had to grab these writers these writers had to grapple with the idea of their home was one thing it was a colony of England within living memory and now it's its own nation and they had to live through a symbolic change of their own homeland and I think that that's reflected and despite and I think it's reflected and Hawthorne's works and it's an interesting sort of historical quirk to happen at the time where literary sort of society of letters is really taking off yeah yeah obvious obviously in the late 18th century but definitely more into fiction in the in the 19th just a little bit more from that University of Houston lecture this is on Hawthorne in history Hawthorne read a great deal about the Puritans in fact he had almost an obsession about Puritan history during that 12-year period after graduation from 1825 until 1837 he borrowed nearly every book in the Salem Athenaeum which was the public library his sister-in-law Elizabeth Peabody wrote that he was exceptionally knowledge about Salem history especially the witchcraft era his reading included cotton mather's wonders of the invisible world and the magnolias and many other books besides and Hawthorne pored over old records he got into the Salem annals which was like bound copies of the old newspapers and records and read them he got ideas from for his tales from these the the Hooper story for instance administers black ministers Black Veil is something that he probably found in those records so Nathaniel Hawthorne is the nineteenth-century is American Adam Curtis that's it's also what the Puritans did not intend what will happen next when like a little magic is brought into this quiet Massachusetts town and though the Puritans discovered that existence was entirely depraved they'd be shocked to find out that the witches with them all along it was a coven of witches outside Salem thirty-five miles it's been too long and he did watch a me jinx I can't get that cadence the final thing I will say that I relate to Hawthorne about although I would have been just I would have been with John Brown when he was you know doing the murders make no mistake I would have John Brown would have looked to me for moral guy yeah like I would not have been anti anti abolitionists we need we need John Brown's today but the thing about Hawthorne post-college being completely aimless but educated and going into having a very rough twenty-fifth year specifically I had that was my worst year that was post graduation couldn't find a job and instead of going into the annals of Salem history I went into like Nixon tapes and that laughing but like that sort of gestation period I think Nixon calls it going into what does he say I was in the is in it's not in the woods it's a Nixon literally from the Richard Nixon Foundation the wilderness years archive he calls it the wilderness years when he was between being vice president and getting back into the office so when the Kennedy isn't Johnson was in 1968 he calls it he basically says he was just eating TV dinners and becoming like I basically worked for law firms including representing Pepsi he was actually in Dallas the day before JFK was shot hmm and but he talks about that as his wilderness years as the time like him watch the TV dinners and basically write in his books and and working at these law firms and screaming at his wife well according to say her literally like more than that yeah numerous occasions and and also chat at Anthony summers who had a book before this I Hersh no more came out athletes that was good writer but I I think despite the sort of the social and the alienation or maybe partially because of it and you know not really knowing what you're doing with your life despite the fact that you've been prepared to do things mm-hmm is actually can actually be a sort of lead to personal growth in a certain way that in least it worked out in my case yeah you only have like a few moments and least an I'm about to turn 30 next week and it seems like so Pharr you only have like a handful of moments to really throw yourself into a topic that you might have interests or like the study that it the amount of time that it takes to study a topic you really only have when you're at your lowest point so your points where you're not where society is like well we can't find anything productive right for you to do and so you just have to kind of being be in like capitalism's waiting room until someone finds a spot for you exactly well Alex I think we've covered that Young Goodman Brown through the forest I I agree with Stephen King I think this is a let's just get a few of those reaction things before we go here I think Melville said it was America's um Inferno as in Dante's Inferno yeah I mean I think there's there's I'm knowing allusions to that within the story oh really yeah well I mean I think just the idea of like you know Dante was met by Virgil and in a wooded area in the opening canto of the inferno but it's inverted whereas you know Virgil is trying to show him the wonders of God's creation yeah literally the devil telling a net life doesn't matter so we'll just read this a critical critical response and impact section on Wikipedia because it's actually good and this is not gonna be an anti Wikipedia podcast and a Wikipedia shit is lazy Wikipedia has as good of a accuracy record as the Encyclopedia Britannica is that still happen and they're still I feel like that's a really an Akron estate thing to be complaining about Wikipedia right well that's the thing is like it's it it obviously wouldn't be true for more like politically fraught webpages right yeah but it also would be more democratic than politically fraught encyclopedia pages which would just say yeah the British Empire is fucking awesome right or something like that I mean I don't think that was an actual entry but like that's actually it's weird every single entry ended with that sense yeah well done well done mom anyway here's this here's this critical response in impact section herman melville's Young Goodman Brown was as deep as Dante and Henry James called it a magnificent Aloha romance which seems kind of condescending yeah uh Hoffman himself believed that the story made no more impact than any of his tales that could be like a little humble brag all of mine are pretty fuckin yeah why are you focusing about one why would you compliment one thing when you could compliment everything yeah Hawthorne himself blah blah years later he wrote these stories were published in magazines and annuals extending over a period of 10 or 12 years and comprising the whole of the writers young manhood without making so far as he ever been aware the slightest impression on the public well guess what buddy we're still talking about it yeah all these years later literally 180 yeah that's true yeah contemporary critic Edgar Allan Poe disagreed referring to Hoffman short stories as the products of a truly imaginative intellect modern scholars and critics generally view the short story as an allegorical tale written to expose the contradictions in place concerning Puritan beliefs in societies however there have been many other interpretations of the text including those who believe Hawthorne sympathized with period and beliefs I think that is yeah yeah author Harold Bloom comments on the variety of explanations okay and Stephen King has referred to at which I will just say I tried to read The Stand when I was younger I couldn't get through it never never read a Stephen King you know neither vibe but you know what he's good on Twitter so for something yeah um Stephen King has referred and some of his movies I've enjoyed yeah Stephen King has referred to the story as quote one of the 10 best stories written by an American he calls it his favorite story by Safin and cites it as an inspiration for his oh Henry award-winning short story of the man in the black suit there you go so I John Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Alex I want to thank you very much for joining me again today it was a good one for those of you who are listening on the public feet it'd be we're up to about 20 or so iTunes reviews be cool if you would go there and try to boost me up let's game these charts people all right if you're getting if you're listening to literary hangover kuratas on either iTunes or there or stitcher I want to game those algorithms I want this to be the biggest book podcast there was the biggest book podcast well there's a few and I wouldn't want to say definitively because I haven't done the market research as well as I should have cuz I'm just gonna blow everything out of the water anyway but there's a very hot dog there's a few that I like mostly lit is out of London I think that's an enjoyable one this partially examine life do they count no that's philosophy fences on section and that's his own section there's a bookworm yeah which we justify a little bit of the bookworm here's the bookworm intro it's pretty bad I mean look it's a good it's a good enough father could call out corner but it's it's very obviously for not the demographic that this podcast is shooting for here's the intro [Applause] question like where from KCRW in KCRW shhh I mean I just became illiterate oh that's incredible yeah I think that's Joe's been around for a while it's cool that there's only one person that's listed in its Guttenberg like as far as writers he's not even a writer he's a printer yeah it's a great question where would we be unfortunately it's a rhetorical question yeah and not even that interesting of one yeah no I mean okay fine like I think that maybe like literature and the age of sort of colonization maybe you could say that they helped each other right like you're the appetite for British literature is gonna like be greater if there's a bunch of people across the world that want to hear about what they're writing right like and and there's no other way to transfer like that to transport that sort of thing besides like a book is a good format but like yeah I do much time on bookworm yeah where were we be without the plough that's a great question yeah we're gonna do a lot of this shit yeah it would be about Xbox I mean anyway Alex that is it please either either help me game those those review sections or subscribe at patreon.com slash literary hangover until next time Alex I'll see you then

10 thoughts on “Majority.fm Pods: Literary Hangover #4: 'Young Goodman Brown' by Nathaniel Hawthorne (1835)

  1. about Wikipedia, theres a reason it is not useful for scholarly research. The point the speakers seem to be making is wikipedia is better because its more democratic which is false.

  2. The Crucible is one of my favorites. Because it is my name! In all my life I shall have no other.
    That's why they call me Bullwhip Johnson.

  3. Well, god damn. I couldn't think of a more boring thing to put on this channel, maybe other than just a 2 hour black video.

  4. I've been loving the podcast. I think this is one of the first times ive seen Matt sitting directly in front of a camera though.. very cute. =P

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