The Parallel Between "The Wife" and "Young Goodman Brown": Young Love and Social Roles

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In "The Wife" and "Young Goodman Brown," we see a similarity in the young marriages.

In "The Wife," Leslie and Mary lead a happy little marriage. Leslie relies on his inherited fortune and Mary blindly relies on her husband. It is nearly impossible for Leslie to see his young wife suffer, so when the fortune disappears, he
bottles his worries in fear of losing Mary. But Mary has no interest in leaving Leslie.

"Young Goodman Brown" also sports a young married couple: Goodman Brown and Faith. Like Mary with Leslie, Faith's heart belongs to Goodman Brown. She loves him and trusts that he will provide for her. But Goodman Brown finds it impossible to confide in his wife.

The difference between the two stories:
The couple in "The Wife" faces their troubles together and live "happily ever after."
The husband in "Young Goodman Brown" bottles his nightmare inside of him, and consequently detracts himself from his loving Faith and family. He dies angry, along, and hopeless.

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Interesting... Faith stays with Brown until his death, without apparently fainting away at his cruelty, or withering for want of love, as we might fear the sheltered and poetic Mary might. Mary still seems to be living a fairy tale, but what life lessons has Faith learned? Does Hawthorne give us enough evidence to tell, for sure?

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This page contains a single entry by PatrickSchober published on September 4, 2010 12:15 PM.

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