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Hawthorne

’s Pride Of Intellect Essay, Research Paper Hawthorns Pride of Intellect Many of Hawthorne’s characters wrap themselves in a pride of intellect. The characters

’s Pride Of Intellect Essay, Research Paper

Hawthorns Pride of Intellect

Many of Hawthorne’s characters wrap themselves in a pride of intellect. The characters

become victims of their pride and consequently suffer. Goodman Brown, from “Young Goodman

Brown” and Hooper, from “The Minister’s Black Veil” are two characters that suffer from a pride

of intellect. Their pride causes them similar problems and they end up living similar lives, although

they came from different backgrounds.

Hooper and Goodman Brown both become isolated from society. Hooper had a

revelation, and he feels that he truly understands human nature and sin. However, he believes that

he is above everybody else because he has this understanding. This is what causes the major

separation between Hooper and society. After Hooper dawns the veil he can no longer function or

act as a normal person, because of this feeling of superiority. His perception of an ultimate human

isolation leaves him the man most isolated in what Hawthorne describes as that saddest of all

prisons, his own heart . . . “(The Minister’s Black Veil,228). The veil affects all parts of his life,

his fiance leaves him and he can no longer relate to his congregation the same way. “As a result of

wearing the veil, Hooper becomes a man apart, isolated from love and sympathy, suspected and

even feared by his congregation”(Minister’s Black Veil, 228). Goodman Brown suffers the same

fate because he also has a feeling of superiority over the rest of the village. He attains this feeling

after he sees all the people that he though were good and pure participating in satanic rituals in the

forest. He looses all faith in the community and feels as though he is above them because he was

able to resist the devil. The lack or trust trusting that Goodman Brown had separated him from the

community because he was a strong Puritan and felt as though he could not associate devil

worshipers. “Brown, despairing and embittered, belongs neither to the Devil’s party nor to the only

other life-sustaining cause he knows–that of the Puritan faith and the Puritan

community”(Levy,119).

Hooper and Goodman Brown’s pride of intellect cause them to loose a loved one and their

kind and loving nature. Hooper drives his fiance Elizabeth away by wearing the veil. Elizabeth

sees how Hooper is separating himself and it scares her away from their purposed marriage.

“Hooper’s fiancee, seems at first unawed by the veil. To her it is merely a cloth that hides the face

she most delights to see. But, like a sudden twilight in the air, Elizabeth suddenly senses the

unapproachable inner isolation of the man who wears it, and its’ terrors fall upon her, too”(The

Minister’s Black Veil,228). As a result of Hooper pride, he looses his loving and kind nature.

“Hooper is shunned and even feared by the others in their times of health and happiness”(The

Minister’s Black Veil,228). He concentrates so much on the negative aspects of people that he

refuses to see the good in them. “He makes the dark side of people the whole truth of human

existence. His own kind and loving nature is lost for all”(The Minister’s Black Veil,228).

Goodman Brown also looses someone very close to him. He separates himself from his wife

Faith. This is a result of Goodman Brown’s pride. He felt so strongly that he was the only

innocent person that he could not trust anybody else including Faith, his apparently religiously

devote wife. When Goodman Brown saw Faith in the forest (Hawthorne, 178) she became just

like the other townsman. “He now knows that Faith’s voice has been mingled with the other

familiar tones, heard daily at Salem village”(Levy,118). Goodman Brown’s loving nature is also

lost due to his pride. He becomes separates himself so much that he can no longer hold a loving

relationship with Faith like he did early in the story(Hawthorne,165).

Hooper from “The Minister’s Black Veil” and Goodman Brown from “Young Goodman

Brown” both suffer similar fates from their pride of intellect. It caused them to be drastically

separated from society, and to loose loved ones and their loving nature. Their pride of intellect

changed their whole lives. It can be seen as a cloak that the characters try to wrap themselves in to

escape human nature and mankind. It is obvious that the characters did not consider or were not

aware of the penalties of their intellectual pride.

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