“Young Goodman Brown” is a fabulous multipurpose short story!
• Studying this story is a great way to introduce students to the Romantic Age of American Literature, in this case “dark romance,” which appeals to reluctant readers.
• The story is also a wonderful way to study the basic structure of the short story.
• “Young Goodman Brown” is an allegory with clear symbolism making it a perfect illustration of allegory.
• Thematically, “Young Goodman Brown” offers portrayal of man’s inherent corruptibility, unjust judgment, and hasty conclusions.
• It’s a great spooky tale for a campfire.
• I use “Young Goodman Brown” as an introduction to The Crucible. The story creates setting and establishes the harshness of Puritan ideology, and makes the events of the Salem Witch Trials much more plausible.
However you want to teach this versatile short story, here is an activity that touches on all of its features.
• First, there are four pages (16 tasks) requiring students to research events in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s life.
• Following is a chart depicting the tenets of Calvinism that were the basis for Puritan ideology. Students define each tenet.
• Next, there is a discussion of allegory and paradox. Students define terms and apply them to the story.
• After that, a chart of symbols and reference to allusion. Students guess what the symbols might represent: pink ribbon, serpent’s staff, the forest, the celebration.
• Students are introduced to three similar themes and must write them in their own words.
• Following is an activity during students must annotate the story using highlighters: pink, references to Faith, green, references to the forest as a heathen threat, etc.
• Students must also draw a star in the margin and identify literary devices.
• Finally, as they annotate, students are instructed to find “dream-like” qualities and decide if YGB really witnessed the ceremony or imagined it.
• Another page provides a chart where students fill in exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, denouement.
• The last page of the resources is an essay assignment. There are 4 prompts: one about allegory, one about the effect of setting on mood and message, another about the devil character, and the final one asking about theme.
KEY IS INCLUDED.
Thank you for consideration of this resource.
I also have available in my store a creative activity for “Young Goodman Brown.” It explores the idea of man being inherently corruptible. Please click here to access that resource:
"Young Goodman Brown" Creative Activity
Also, if you’re on a Puritan roll, I have many resources available for The Crucible:
O's The Crucible Store
And here is one for “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”:
Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God Activity
Thank you! Lori