YOUNG TEACHER BROWN came forth at sunrise, into the halls of Salem high school, but put his head back, after crossing the threshold, to exchange a parting “Young Goodman Brown” lesson plan with his supervising administrator. And FireYou, as the administrator was aptly named, thrust his own ugly head into the hall, letting the cafeteria stench play with the brown ribbons in his lapel, while he called to Teacher Brown, “That was a mighty fine Young Goodman Brown lesson plan. We’ll relieve you of lunch duty from this day forward.”
Eager to know about Young Teacher Brown’s “Young Goodman Brown” Study Guide and Lesson Plans, all the teachers flocked to his website and started using them immediately.
Let’s not waste any time. Here’s a sample lesson plans from the Young Goodman Brown Teaching Guide: Setting and Plot in Young Goodman Brown.
“Young Goodman Brown” Summary
Young Goodman Brown plans a late night excursion into the forest, much to the protestations of his wife, Faith. He is filled with regret and doubts, which, however, do not stop his journey into the forest, which by the way, was the devil’s domain in Puritan literature (of course, everything was the devil’s domain in Puritan literature).
Young Goodman Brown meets a man sitting on a tree stump, who we can presume is the devil (note to reader: if the devil joins you on your journey, you’re probably headed in the wrong direction). YGB is shocked to discover his father and his grandfather have journeyed once upon a time into the forest. He is even more shocked to discover some of Salem’s more prominent citizens–Goody Cloyse, Deacon Gookin, and the town minister– have communed with the devil. In fact, everyone has communed with the devil, even Faith.
He begs Faith to resist and poof, YGB wakes up, uncertain whether the entire incident were a dream.
Unable to withstand his loss of innocence, YGB dies a bitter old man.
Young Goodman Brown Lesson Ideas
Complete graphic organizers and handouts are included in the "Young Goodman Brown" Teaching Guide. Here's an overview.
- Setting and Plot in "Young Goodman Brown." That's the aforementioned "Young Goodman Brown" lesson plan linked to above.
- Allegory and Symbolism in "Young Goodman Brown." Much of the symbolism in "Young Goodman Brown" is obvious and heavy-handed, which will help young literary scholars get a feel for allegory. Other symbols may not be so obvious. Identifying and explaining symbols leads to higher level thinking.
- American Romanticism. Perfect lesson plan for when it's time to get all literary up in here. Identify elements of American Romanticism as you read.
- Theme in "Young Goodman Brown." Themes include the loss of innocence, the loss of faith, and the inherent corruption of human beings (how Puritanic).
- Creative Writing. I'd be interested to examine YGB's life after the incident in the forest.
Here's a couple "Young Goodman Brown" Essay Questions
- Many consider "Young Goodman Brown" a parable, a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson. What lesson or lessons does this story teach? Be sure to provide specific evidence from the story and to explain/analyze the evidence.
- After his visit to the forest, Young Goodman Brown becomes bitter and cynical. With a different attitude, however, this could have been a positive experience. Explain?