Literature

In "Young Goodman Brown," Hawthorne reveals his feelings about his Puritan ancestors when

A. the dark man reveals that he helped Brown's forebears persecute others.

B. Faith expresses her anxieties about young Browns departure.

C. Brown discovers his catechism teacher is on speaking terms with the Devil

D. Brown strives to resist his dark mission

I picked A, because Hawthorne was fascinated by his region’s Puritan past,
possibly because one of his own ancestors was one of the
judges who sentenced the Salem witches to death. However, many of Hawthorne's
works explore the hypocrisy he saw in the Puritan's behavior. He suggests in
his novels and in his short stories that
many people who pretend to be strictly religious really aren't so pure on the inside. While they may go to church
and appear to be holy, they’re just as sinful as everyone else. In addition, this hypocrisy comment could point to answer C, since this Puritan teacher is on speaking terms with the Devil.

Am I on the wrong or right track with my thinking? I have read this short story ten times and the same thoughts run through my head.

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asked by Cassie
  1. This is a very difficult story to understand, no matter how many times you read it! Same with me!!

    I think all four could be valid answers ... but A is most likely what the test writer is looking for because of the use of "his Puritan ancestors" and "Brown's forebears."

    The other answer choices have to do with the plot, but make no connection with Hawthorne's interest in the "Puritan past."

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