Interpreting Puritanism Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown”
Steps of Our Interpretation • What do we know about Protestant Theology and Puritanism? Of the world view of these people? • How does our understanding of ‘Myth’ inform our reading of the story?
Close Reading(a la New Criticism) • Narrative • Setting • Character(s) • Conflict • Plot Structure • Climax • Denouement
Close Reading (cont.) • Mood • Atmosphere • Symbols • Literary Devices • Theme • A Reading?
Applying Other Critical Approaches • Psychoanalytical – what truth does the story convey about the human psyche? • Symbols of Psyche (Freudian, Jungian)?
Other Approaches (cont.) • Moral / Intellectual: What is the nature of human nature?
Other Approaches (cont.) • Marxist / Economic Determinist: How does social or economic class function within the narrative? How is individual identity wrapped up in these issues?
Other Approaches (cont.) • Feminist / Gender: How is the story an expression of conventions of expectations about gender roles, identity, and social definitions of self and gender?
Facets of Understanding (with thanks to Wiggins and McTighe) • Explanation: What is it? • Interpretation: What could it mean? • Application: Can I do something with it? • Perspective: What does it look like from a broad view? • Empathy: Have I experience like this? • Self-Awareness: What change have I undergone?