…and to Young Goodman Brown

What is the Formalistic Approach? …what is formalism?

Formalism The term formalism describes an emphasis on form over content or meaning in the arts, literature, or philosophy.

A practitioner of formalism is called a formalist. ...

A. Richards’ Pra ctical Criticism (1929).Formalism/New Criticism The formalist movement began in England with the publication of I. Robert Penn Warren. American critics (such as John Crowe Ransom. and Cleanth Bro oks) adapted formalism and termed their adaptation ―New Criticism. .

or evaluates the inherent feature s of a text. These features include not only grammar and syntax but also literar y devices such as meter and tropes. . interprets.So the Formalistic Approach is… A critical approach that analyzes.

Formalism Has the advantage of forcing writers to evaluate a work on its own terms rather than to rely on ―accepted notions of the writer’s work Works best when applied to poetry and short fiction. .

Focus is on: Form. and structure Word choice and language Multiple meanings Considers the work in isolation. context. author’s background. organization. and anything else outside of the work itself.Formalism Attempts to discover meaning by close reading of a work of literature. disregarding author’s intent. .

or biographical information. The nationality or era of the composition. The speakers background. Whether or not the author the had adapted this work from a past experience. .The Formalistic Approach DOES NOT look at… The name of the author.

what. when. where or why… They look at the how .A formalist does not look at the who.

informs or shapes the work inwardly a nd gives its parts a relevance to the whole We must narrow our attention to what the literary work says but we must first consider how it is said .Formalistic Approach Summary The object of formalistic criticism is to find the key to the structure and mean ing of the literary work We search for form which is necessary for real understanding A unifying pattern is the pattern that as modern critics say.

Formalistic Approach Summary Suggests that the reader see what is in the poem. tone. etc . meters. novel. or the play rather than to consider what is outside it. rhymes. First step in explaining the literary work is to discover what the words actuall y mean in their full denotative and connotative value. Principle by which content and form inseparable— ○ Imagery.

symb ol. and meaning.Formalism/New Criticism New Criticism varied from formalism in that New Criticism focuses on image. . Traditional formalists often attacked New Critics for their lac k of attention to the form of the work. Seminal works on New Criticism include John Crowe Ransom’s The New Criticism (1941 ) and Cleanth Brooks’ The Well Wrought Urn (1947).

few critics adhere only to the formalist or New Criticism theory. . However.Impact of Formalism Today. its back-to-the-basics approach pervades many other critical theories.

Young Goodman Brown …and how to view it via the formalistic approach… .

there are other points such as. there are numerous formalistic app roach concepts. has thr ee main points: symbolism. . This method to reading. and organic form . allegory. Even though these main points are most prominent. which is one of the most common.In Nathaniel Hawthorne s Young Goodman Brown. ambiguity. and allusion.

or situation. all of which can be supported by the context of a work. action. .Ambiguity in YGB Ambiguity Allows for two or more simultaneous interpretations of a word. phrase.

" However. in the open-ended conclusion to Hawthorne s "Young Goodman Brown. for example. unintentional ambiguity obscures meaning and can confuse readers.Ambiguity in YGB Deliberate ambiguity can contribute to the effectiveness and richness of a work. .

of good? Conversely.What is the meaning behind the pink ribbons? Are they emblematic of love. do they suggest evil or hypocrisy. or the ambiguous and puzzling blend of good and evil? . of innocence.

faith Does Goodman Brown lose Faith or faith? .Faith vs.

Allegory in Young Goodman Brown The story Young Goodman is allegorical. . meaning that the characters and objects in the story represent abstract ideas.

we have Brown’s wife Faith and the spiritual faith which contribute to the ambiguity of the short story.Allegory and Faith In Young Goodman Brown. .

for ―he shrank from the bosom of Faith . The allegory may further suggest that Goodman Brown shortly loses his new fa ith. when he and Faith were marri ed. for example. it may be that Goodman Brown gained his faith three months before the action of the story.Allegory and faith If the tale is allegorical.

Thus if Faith is faith.Allegory in YGB Allegory is difficult to maintain. often requiring a rigid one-to-one equivalenc e between the surface meaning and a ―higher meaning. how do we explain that faith remains with him and even outlives him? . and Go odman Brown loses the latter.

perhaps even vanish in that da rk cloud from which the pink ribbon apparently falls. and more subtle interweaving ideas. a patte rn of symbolism centering on Faith is easier to handle.Allegory in YGB Strict allegory would require that she disappear. . and may help by offering more pervasive. On the other hand.

symbolizes Brown s spiritual faith. Faith. he realizes he is in danger of losing not only his wife but also his spiritual fait h.Faith Goodman Brown s wife. When he sees he r in the forest at the witches  sabbath.Symbolism . .

Symbolism and The Forest as Eden .

to satisfy his curiosi ty about the happenings there and perhaps even to take part in them. he wishes to enter the dark forest of sin. . so to speak.Symbolism – The Forest as Eden Goodman Brown appears to represent human beings confronted with temptation–that is .

Goodman Brown is enticed by an entire forest. we have Adam (Brown. a tree—the Tree of Knowledge—that enticed Adam. It was. Thus. curious to lea rn forbidden knowledge) facing the serpent in the Garden of Eden. of cou rse. his staff is a symbol of the devil as a serpent.Symbolism – The Forest as Eden The man who meets Brown in the forest appears to represent the devil. Like Adam. . he suffers a great fall from innocence.

if not a desperate man. her pi nk ribbons stand for innocence. and he becomes "a stern. wondering whether he has awakened from a dream or really did attend the witches  sabbath. desiring forbidden knowledge—she too loses her innocence. a sad. and resist the Wicke d One.Symbolism – The Forest as Eden Faith appears to represent Brown’s religious faith and his faith in others. like Eve. But when she also appears at the witches  sabbat h— apparently. a darkly meditative." He then finds himself alone in the forest. A t the last moment before his and his wife s baptism into the evil society gather ed in the forest. Brown urges his wife: "Look up to Heaven. a distrustful. But the damage is done." .

Goody: (1) Housewife. His defiance instilled fear in the white inhabitants of New England. (3) housewife or mistress of a household.Allusions within Young Goodman Brown Goodman: Husband or master of a household. King William (Paragraph 13): William III. especially an elderly one. of a lower class. king of England from 1689 to 1702. (2) any lower -class woman. Maltreatment of Indians by whites provo ked him into waging what came to be known as King Philip s War against New Engla nders in 1675-1676. . King Philip (Paragraph 18): Nickname of the Wampan oag Indian chief Metacom (or Metacomet). Wot st: (Paragraph 15): Know.

Cinquefoil (Paragraph 32): Flowering plant of the rose family that has white.Allusions within Young Goodman Brown Lecture-Day (Paragraph 21): Weekday on which a sermon was given. re d. or yellow petals." This passage alludes to ve rses 8-12 in Chapter 7 of the Bible s Book of Exodus. it assumed life. being one of the rods whi ch its owner had formerly lent to the Egyptian magi. However. "So saying. God directs Moses to tell Aaron. which in like manner turned into serpents. a poisonous plant. where. he threw it [the sta ff] down at her feet. According to these verses. When he does so. Aaron s staff consumes the staffs of the magicians. E en Go Thy Ways (Paragraph 25): Just (righteous) be thy ways. to cast down his staff before the throne of the pharaoh of Egypt. The pharaoh s magicians (magi) then cast down their staffs. his brother. D evil s Staff (Paragraph 36): The narrator says. perhaps. it transforms itself into a se rpent. Wolf s Bane (Paragraph 32): Wolfsbane. .

t he structure or style of a text.One characteristic we must look at when analyzing Young Goodman Brown is form. .

. as opposed to a long novel.Young Goodman Brown . a short story like YGB reaches its climax and solution and thus qui ckly comes to an end. As a result. is structured in such a way that there are a few notable characters and only one major situation.Form A short story like YGB.

like a news story. the short story possesses fo rm. In brief. the short story possess the balance and design-the polish and finish.Young Goodman Brown . like any other imaginative literary work. but unlike the news sto ry. the co mpleteness which we associate with the work of art.Form A short story is restricted in scope. .

.Organic Form The organic form has two parts: The local texture The logical structure.

.Local Texture The local texture is the comparison that is made between things. A comparison in this story would be the description of red fire and a man who is mean and controlling. A comparison can be made to the devil and hell.

. On his journey he encounters the devil. who ironical ly is named Faith. and forever treats people with disgust. When he comes back from his jo urney he is a changed man for the worst. His wife begs him not to go but he does anyway. in a sense that he treats everyone as a sinner.Logical Structure The logical structure of this story is a young man that has a wife. and because of this devil he loses his wife Faith. goes out one night on a journey. and his own faith.

However as this story progresses it is shown that this was not the case.Virtues and Vices If you use your prior knowledge of Puritans you would or should have come to the conclusion that this would be a stereotypical story where the protagonist (Good man) would be tempted by the devil or some evil creature that somehow makes the faithful protagonist lose their faith and then somehow regain it. .

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