The author utilized mystery and suspense to hold the readers’ attention. Through the psychoanalytic approach to analyzing the text, readers can catch the meaning of the text that lies in understanding Goodman Brown’s encounter with the woods. From the beginning to the end of the story, Hawthorne led the reader into asking the question, What do all of this witchcraft, mysticism, and the double-sided lifestyles of the characters actually mean? As a result, the character in the story was actually representing the author himself. Digging into the social background and cultural context would definitely help the reader better understand the story.
To attempt a study of Hawthorne’s short story Young Goodman Brown, it is necessary therefore to attempt a social and cultural contextualization of its setting and the complex issues involving the prevalent Puritan ethos in the contemporary world. It involves as well the extensive puritan understanding of morality, politics, and hypocrisy in the literary and cultural scene of New England, as depicted in Hawthorne’s short story, Young Goodman Brown, which is set against the 17th-century backdrop, anthologized in his collection Moses from an Old Manse. Hawthorne engaged in a discourse that deeply examined and criticized the blended ideas and ideologies of the Puritan ethos that shaped and dominated the texture of the 17th century New England life and morality. The 1692 Salem incident was not, for him, an isolated outburst religious fervor and destructive conservatism, but as a whole, indicative of the complex metaphors of good and evil that were being systematically propagated by Puritanism.
The Puritan nationalism insisted on a new mode of narrative that proposed to include the secular perception of national identity within a historical frame that was, nevertheless, bound by strict and unbending laws of religion.