New England Stories

Tradition in Two New England Stories and in Today

Both "A New England Nun" by Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman and "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne are tales of distinct New England traditions. While "A New England Nun" portrays the marrying customs of old New England, "Young Goodman Brown" depicts the spiritual customs of Puritan New England. But such is not to say that every Puritan was going to midnight meetings with the Devil -- the tale is an allegorical representation of every man's dual nature; nor is Freeman suggesting anything more than that Louisa Ellis prefers her life the way she has grown accustomed to having it -- nice and pretty and free of dirt. Though Goodman Brown and Louisa Ellis are both affected by the traditions of their New England surroundings, both are able to transcend them: Louisa Ellis through the happy chance hearing of...
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