Essay about Analysis Of James Joyce 's Novel ' Young Goodman Brown '

1687 Words Dec 2nd, 2014 7 Pages
Although James Joyce was the first to use the religious term “epiphany” in a literary sense, it has become a main theme in many other short works. Gustave
Flaubert’s protagonist Félicité from “A Simple Heart” along with Goodman Brown from
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “Young Goodman Brown” both experience what could be called an epiphany. Flaubert and Hawthorne’s protagonists have a religious epiphany while in a possible dream state. The stories finish with phantasmal epiphanies where the authors refuse a conclusion. Flaubert and Hawthorne play with ambiguity allowing the readers and their protagonists to question paradoxes of faith together.
An epiphany is commonly known as a sudden realization. However, according to
Matthew 2:112, an epiphany is the manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the three wise men. The manifestation of Christ in “A Simple Heart” and “Young
Goodman Brown” is a common theme that runs between both works. While the representation of Christ and religion differ within the works, an epiphany of transcendence causes a feeling of meloncholy in both. With melancholia embedded within the moment of realization, the epiphanies represent a death or end to both
Jordan 2 protragonists. Félicité experiences her epiphany and dies shortly after signaling the end of her life while Goodman Brown also experiences the death or end of his faith.
Félicité is devoted and intrinsically good, as she stays devoted to Madame Aubain doing “the housework…

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