Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

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Select one of the following topics to discuss in a well-developed, coherent, and thoughtful essay of at least 750 words. Be sure to focus carefully on the topic, and remember that these are formal essays: they must have an appropriate, original title; contain an introduction, body, and conclusion; have a clear, explicit, assertive, objectively worded thesis statement (thesis statements must be underlined). Essays must contain textual evidence (examples, quotations) from the primary source only, and these references should be used to support your assertions about the text and be properly documented (utilizing MLA-Style Citations for documentation). Write authoritatively in the third person; avoid editorializing and using terms such as “I think” and “I believe.”

  • Analyze the symbolism used in either Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown,” or Joyce Carol Oates’ “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?”. What specific symbols occur in the story, and how do they function in the story? Do they form a unified pattern, or motif? Alternatively, you may focus on a strong central symbol that recurs over the course of the story, and look closely at each appearance it makes. How does the story’s use of the symbol evolve? How does this symbol help to communicate the story’s meaning?
  • Analyze the central theme used in either F. O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find,” or E. Hemingway’s “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place.” What particular elements of the story help to communicate the main message? Consider plot details, dialogue, setting, point of view, title – any elements that seem especially pertinent.
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