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Young Goodman Brown and Other Short Stories (Dover Thrift Editions) Paperback – Unabridged, February 5, 1992

4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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About the Author

Born in 1804, Nathaniel Hawthorne is known for his historical tales and novels about American colonial society. After publishing The Scarlet Letter in 1850, its status as an instant bestseller allowed him to earn a living as a novelist. Full of dark romanticism, psychological complexity, symbolism, and cautionary tales, his work is still popular today. He has earned a place in history as one of the most distinguished American writers of the nineteenth century.
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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Thrift Editions
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; Revised ed. edition (February 5, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486270602
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486270609
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.3 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Young Goodman Brown and Other Short Stories" brings together 7 tales by the great United States author Nathaniel Hawthorne. These stories date from the 1830s and 1840s, and reveal Hawthorne, well-known today as a novelist, to be a talented practitioner of the short story genre.
These are stories of weird science, romantic and professional obsession, thwarted love, witchcraft, guilt, and the quest for beauty. Irony and tragedy mark many of the tales. Hawthorne takes us from the rugged American frontier to a sunlit Italian garden. The title story is a strangely compelling evocation of the Salem Puritans and their obsession with Satanic conspiracies. Also impressive is "Roger Malvin's Burial," a devastating psychological tale.
If the only Hawthorne you know is the author of the justly-celebrated "Scarlet Letter," check out this collection. Overall, this book is a good choice both for classroom use and individual reading.
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Format: Paperback
In reviewing Twice-Told Tales, Edgar Allen Poe wrote: "Mr. Hawthorne's distinctive trait is invention, creation, imagination, and originality. It would be a matter of some difficulty to designate the best of these tales; we repeat, without exception, they are beautiful."

This little Dover Thrift Edition - Young Goodman Brown and Other Short Stories - offers seven interesting and varied tales by Hawthorne. Actually, only one, Dr. Heidegger's Experiment (1837), is found in Twice-Told Tales. This imaginative short story is among Hawthorne's most humorous and is often found today in short story anthologies. Accused by some of plagiarizing this story from a chapter in a novel by Alexandre Dumas, Hawthorne pointed out that his tale predated by more than twenty years that of Dumas, and that he took some pride in that Dumas chose to appropriate this fanciful work for his novel.

Five stories - The Birthmark (1843), Young Goodman Brown (1835), Rappaccini's Daughter (1844), Roger Malvin's Burial (1832), and The Artist of the Beautiful (1844) - are from the collection titled Mosses from an Old Manse. The Birthmark and Rappaccini's Daughter are tales of arrogance and obsession, whereby men of science go astray in their compulsive pursuit of knowledge and perfection.

Like many of Hawthorne's stories, Young Goodman Brown is distinctly American, drawing upon the Puritan influence in the New England colonies. I find this inventive story of witchcraft and temptation to be somewhat sobering as Goodman Brown learns that the mere act of encountering temptation, even if ultimately resisted, may have unexpected consequences.

The Artist of the Beautiful stands apart from the others in this short collection; this story of artistic passion is surprisingly modern.
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An incredible bargain and wonderful tales to boot, vice and virtue were never more complex or interwoven as in these Hawthorne tales. All of his stories speak to the irreversible errors of man, well not altogether irreversible. There is redemption and resolve but not for all his characters. If you are looking for spiritually driven fabulously intriguing stories, look no further. Edgar Allan Poe has a fierce rival.
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This book is really riveting; there is a lot of subtle symbolism and the plots and social commentary really tells a lot about the time period this was written.
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Young Goodman Brown is an allegory about the recognition of evil as the nature of human society. Hawthorne cleverly gives characters names such as "Goodman" and "Faith" to depict irony in the Puritan society. The story is about Browns loss of faith and the discovery of how people are viewed by society vs who they really are. Hawthorne is a brilliant writer who uses colloquial expressions and diction to enhance the setting. It is a tale that exposes the great contradiction of the Puritan way of life. The other short stories are magnificent as well!
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Format: Paperback
Nathaniel Hawthorne, as a writer and artist, has a
unique effect upon me as the reader. I am a bit put off
by his keep-your-distance...this is my stage, my characters,
my plot...you may observe, learn, but not participate
as experiencer...approach. Thus he is the master artist,
displaying his wares...and they are wondrous. The other
effect of Hawthorne upon me, is that I seem to feel that
his works are as carefully crafted, visualized, and
fatefully fulfilled (using all the motifs, symbols,
and foreshadowing--as well as irony, psychological
insight, and artistic deftness of creative imagination
and clever nuance) as Wagner's operas. Though "Young
Goodman Brown" seems a bit (just a bit,) too blatant
with the symbols and allegory, yet there is something
also immensely satisfying and complete in the intricate
way in which all the parts fit together. "The Artist of
the Beautiful," for me, is the supreme creation in this
collection of stories.
It is Hawthorne's insights, both about human
psychology and artistic awareness and limitation, that
amaze and please me. Here is an excerpt from the haunting
tale, "The Birthmark," in which a perfectionist husband
attempts to remove a small birthmark from his wife's
cheek so she will be completely perfect. The husband
is Aylmer; his wife is Georgiana. The wife chances upon
the volumes which Aylmer has, and one of them is a record
of all of his own experiments.
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