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Psychoanalysis- Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown (Book Review Sample)


the task was about analysis of the book Young Goodman Brown written by Nathaniel Hawthorne.


Psychoanalysis- Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown
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Psychoanalysis- Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown
Young Goodman Brown was written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. This story, although it appears to have religion as its main theme, can be analyzed from a psychoanalytical level, using the Freud’s structural model. The model studies the struggles evident in every human being between the conscious and the subconscious level of the human mind. This paper chooses the scene, expressed in sentence 307- “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-” to show the extent of Young Goodman Brown’s psychological mechanism of primal repression.
According to Freud (1923), there are three super powers in the human mind- Id, Ego and Super ego- which greatly determine the influence on life of every individual. These forces determine our behaviors and bind us to the reality. The Id, as explained by Freud knows no goodness, nor no evil and does not follow any laws of logic. Its primary seeks to meet personal desires in search a way that it fulfills our instinctual needs. The Ego on the other hand, is rational and seeks to regulate the instinctual tendencies manifested by the Id. It basically links the reality with the world within. The super-ego is highly unconscious and acts as the repository of conscience and pride by using that which the society calls unacceptable to repress the Id.
Freud (1923), further explained that, the Id would bring the out the evil in us while the super ego the goodness in us. The Ego balances these two opposing sides. Young Goodman Brown’s desires which make him feel guilty can be used to symbolize the Id, the tramping of the approaching horse can be translated as symbolic to shows Young Goodman Brown’s super ego starting to get aroused. The Ego on the other hand can be expressed as the decision to conceal himself on the verge of the forest thereby creating a balance between the super ego and the Id.
Young Goodman Brown, feels the need to conceal himself in the verge of the forest, since he was conscious of the guilt he had given his motives. This shows, Young Goodman Brown’s weak super ego, it has failed its duty of suppressing the Id. According to how he was brought up, he knew he was doing something termed as unacceptable but yet, the Id, (his own personal instincts to know what happened in the evil forest) took the better of him.
The sound of the approaching horse, can be translated as the society. The society determines the Super ego. Psychological repression is defined as an attempt by an individual to direct one’s own desires and impulses, towards pleasurable instincts by removing one’s own desires from the conscious mind (Boag, 2006). This ensures that what is unacceptable (determined by the super ego) does not arouse anxiety. The s...
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