This sketch was created to depict the subtle transition of Beloved coming into the lives of the characters living at 124. ¬†Beloved is drown without a face to express her mystic and her¬†presence¬†as the embodiment of Sethe’s deceased child. ¬†Although she was yet to be introduced in the novel’s opening¬†scene, Beloved is also used in this sketch as a reminder of ghost that haunted the house. ¬†She is also ever present in this sketch, even though she’s off center, the focus is on her by drawing her slightly larger (close up) than the other characters.

Center, you can see Sethe and Paul D chatting on the stoop of the house as they were the beginning of the novel (reproduced based on the movie) while Beloved is to the right.

In the background you can see “124 Bluestone road”, ¬†the house that Sethe lived in. ¬†The curtains are slightly closed, adding to the mystic of the novel.

The Good Man

The Good Man

Michael Gurevich

In “Young Goodman Brown” the author uses an omniscient narrative
style to guide the readers through he story.  By selecting a
first-person narrative style, the reader is able to understand the
character on a much deeper level.
The sun was setting but I knew I would have to make my leave.  My
wife, Faith, was reluctant to see me go but I see no her words would
not be enough to make me stay.  I was going for this errand that I
knew was wrong but I was a man of my word so this promise I would have
to keep. ¬†“Dearest heart,” She whispered to me as she pleaded for me
to stay. ¬†She didn’t want me to go, she was too afraid for my safety
and for her own, as well.  She told me she was too fearful of spending
the night alone but I urged her to remain hopeful and to trust in my
words.  She she knew of the journey I was embarking on, she would
probably never look at me as the man she sees me now. I bid her adieu
and went off into the night.  I arrived at the forest on a night that
seemed darker than any other, I felt this was a sign for me to turn
back but I had to keep to my promise, it was only this one time.  As I
walked along the path I saw the shadow of a figure resting on a downed
tree. ¬†He called to me in an upset voice “You are late, Goodman
Brown”. ¬†I chuckled and told him that my wife, Faith, was so worried
that I lost track of time as I was leaving.  This man was dressed
sharply, he didn’t resemble a shadow in the forest but a man who would
likely be respected in all parts of life. ¬†“Come, Goodman Brown!” he
called to me as we went on path. Although he seemed confidant and
controlled, the staff that accompanied him was an uncomfortable sight.
A twisted walking stick that had a pattern to it that resembled a
serpent.  With every step we made I could feel his it slither beside
us.
I was becoming more and more restless as our journey continued.  Not
because of the treacherous path but because of the decisions I made
that night.  For you see, I come from a long line of good Christen
men.  I arrived with the light and I was planning to remain with it
until my dying day.  Tonight, I was planning to descend into the
depths of the earth, straight to the devil’s lair. ¬†As we carried on
through the forest I became confused about my decision and decided I
should trust my gut instinct. ¬†“I’m going back” I told the fellow
traveler. ¬†“I’m going back for Faith’s sake, she needs me”. ¬†In
response, the traveler offered me his staff as though my troubles were
merely physical.  I declined his offer and decided not to argue with
him but to keep on with my promise and follow him through the path.
The traveler told me that he must take off but that he would leave his
walking stick with me in case I needed it to complete the trip.  As he
disappeared into the darkness I heard the voice of my beautiful Faith.
“Faith!” I cried, as I stood up and lunged forward into the forest.
I didn’t know in which direction to go so I trust my heart to guide
me.  Running forward I felt a strong force pulling me, as if the
serpent has come alive within the traveler’s staff. ¬†It pulled me
through the forest with such force that I could barely feel the ground
below my feet, I was flying toward my love. ¬†“Faith!” I yelled out
again, “Faith!, faith!”.
As I made my way out of the forest I saw a community of people
huddled together in a circle, as if in a worship.  At this moment I
realized this was the event I originally planned to attend. Through
the crowed of people I noticed all the familiar faces from my small
town.  I heard the voice of Deacon Gookin, the minister of our church.
Not too far away was Goody Cloyse, the holiest of women. ¬†This wasn’t
the place I wanted to be, nor was this how I imagined these people.
They were no longer good loving people, but rather devil worshipers.
The people of Salem finally revealed their true colors, colors I would
never identify with.  As I tried to make haste to flew, I saw my Faith
participating with the wretched of men. ¬†“Faith!” I yelled out to her,
“Look up into the heavens! Don’t let your soul be filled with evil!”.
And as the last breathe carried out those words, I awoke in the
forest, confused but rational. ¬†I wasn’t sure if this ordeal was a
dream or not but I knew I had to make my way back to town.  Walking
through the streets I saw the faces of all the people who were just
moments ago preaching the work of Satan.  I passed them by in disgust
as they carried on as if clueless to their wretched ways.  My faith
was home, but I no longer saw her as my loving wife, for her innocence
was tainted with the same darkness as the shadows in the forest.  The
night I left my Faith at home changed my life forever.  I could never
again look at the people of Salem as I once saw them.  I only saw the
evil that consumed them.  Even if they chose not to reveal it, I still
knew.

 

 

 

Although the narration used by the author in “Young Goodman Brown”
creates a perfect environment for the plot there is still something
missing when it comes to the characters.  The lack of first-person
narrative leaves the reader scratching their head during the moments
of suspense.  Retelling the story from a first person perspective
helps depict what was going through Goodman Brown’s head during his
ordeal. ¬†The author’s focused on using a omniscient narrator to convey
the darkness, resentment, and regret that filled Goodman throughout
the story, while the retelling using the first-person narrative
focuses on a more indepth look of the character and his surrounding
world.
The omniscient narration gives great focus of the environment and
characters through imagery.  The story begins with the author
describing Goodman as he begins his trip, “Goodman Brown came forth at
sunset, into the street of Salem Village, but put his head back, after
crossing the threshold, to exchange a parting kiss with his young
wife.” ¬†From the start of the conversation between Goodman Brown and
his wife the narration depicts the mood in the room by describing the
movement of the characters and the reactions they have toward each
other. ¬†He said, “‘Dearest heart,’ whispered she, softly ¬†and rather
sadly, when her lips were close to his ear”. ¬†Compared to the
retelling of the story, the first-person narrative avoids the scenic
route by stating how things really are from the perspective of the
character present in the room, “‘Dearest heart,’ She whispered to me
as she pleaded for me to stay. ¬†She didn’t want me to go, she was too
afraid for my safety, and for her own, as well.  She exclaimed she was
too fearful of spending the night alone but I urged her to remain
hopeful and to trust in my words.”
Mid story, as Goodman Brown meets with the traveler, the role of the
omniscient narration is worked in in a masterful way. ¬†“It was now
deep dusk in the forest, and deepest in that part of it where those
two were journeying.” ¬†wrote Nathaniel Hathorne, the author of the
short story, in his attempt to use imagery as the main player in this
story. ¬†As previously mentioned, “darkness” and “resentment” play a
big part in the narration.  Throughout the story Goodman Brown is
given signs that urge him to abandon his journey.  The author goes on
to describe the fellow traveler’s walking staff, “But the only thing
bout him, that could be fixed upon as remarkable, was his staff, which
bore the likeness of a great black snake, so curiously wrought, that
it might almost be seen to twist and wriggle itself like a living
serpent.  This, of course, must have been an ocular deception,
assisted by uncertain light. ¬†“A Good Man”, the retold version of this
short story, goes into detail about the traveler’s walking staff as
well but with minor focus on creating a mood based around the cane.
Goodman described the walking staff as he saw it, “Although he seemed
confidant and controlled, the staff that accompanied him was an
uncomfortable sight. A twisted walking stick that had a pattern to it
that resembled a serpent.  With every step we made I could feel his it
slither beside us.” ¬†With this change of narration we’re able to
understand directly how Goodman Brown felt about the traveler and the
staff he kept on his person.
The use of the first-person narration is most beneficial during the
ending of the short story.  When Goodman Brown becomes filled with
hate and resentment toward his fellow townspeople, he searches inside
himself for answers but is unable to rationalize the events that took
place.  In a last hope of salvation, he closes off to the world and
becomes completely submerged in his purity, denying everyone who he
once knew any access to his innocence.  The retold story ends with
this narration from Goodman Brown; “I could never again look at the
people of Salem as I once saw them.  I only saw the evil that consumed
them. ¬†Even if they chose not to reveal it, I still knew.”. ¬†When we
compare this ending with that of the original short story we are able
to see how well the contrast in narration affects story, “And when he
had lived long, and was borne to his grave, a hoary corpse, followed
by Faith, an aged woman, and children and grand-children, a goodly
procession, besides neighbors, not a few, they carved no hopeful verse
upon his tombstone; for his dying hour was gloom.”
There are many advantages to each style of narration, the omniscient
narrator can submerge the reader in the world surrounding the
character while the first-person narrator is able to give us an inside
look through the eyes and heart of the protagonist.  There is no wrong
way to narrate a story. ¬†It’s the author job to carry the readers from
the beginning to the end in a smooth and consistent manner, regardless
of the narrative style.

My BHS Experience

The trip to BHS was not only informative but also eye opening, I never expected such detailed work to be preserved over such a long time.  Its not common these day to encounter such old artifacts right off the streets of Brooklyn.  The design of the hallways and rooms held a story of its own.  It gave off the feel of the past without seeing cheesy or fake so It made sense when the guides told us the place was used to shoot a show based on the 1920s.   During the first visit we were given an inside look of the older days in Brooklyn through images and text (Only The Dead Know Brooklyn).  For our second visit, we were presented with a journal kept by a slave owner and newspaper ads for runaway slaves.  All in all it was a great learning experience that most NYers should experience.  I would definitely return to BHS on my own time to look through their archive.

Passage of Essay#2

“What might your name be?” asked Paul D.”Beloved,” she said, and her voice was so low and rough each one looked at the other two. They heard the voice first-later the name.”Beloved. You use a last name, Beloved?” Paul D asked her.”Last?” She seemed puzzled. Then “No,” and she spelled it for them, slowly as though the letters were being formed as she spoke them.

Sethe dropped the shoes; Denver sat down and Paul D smiled. He recognized the careful enunciation of letters by those, like himself, who could not read but had memorized the letters of their name. He was about to ask who her people were but thought better of it. A young coloredwoman drifting was drifting from ruin. He had been in Rochester four years ago and seen five women arriving with fourteen female children. All their men-brothers, uncles, fathers, husbands, sons-had been picked off one by one by one. They had a single piece of paper directing them to a preacher on DeVore Street. The War had been over four or five years then, but nobody white or black seemed to know it. Odd clusters and strays of Negroes wandered the back roads and cowpaths from Schenectady to Jackson. Dazed but insistent, they searched each other out for word of a cousin, an aunt, a friend who once said, “Call on me. Anytime you get near Chicago, just call on me.” Some of them were running from family that could not support them, some to family; some were running from dead crops, dead kin, life threats, and took-over land. Boys younger than Buglar and Howard; configurations and blends of families of women and children, while elsewhere, solitary, hunted and hunting for, were men, men, men. Forbidden public transportation, chased by debt and filthy “talking sheets,” they followed secondary routes, scanned the horizon for signs and counted heavily on each other. Silent, except for social courtesies, when they met one another they neither described nor asked about the sorrow that drove them from one place to another. The whites didn’t bear speaking on. Everybody knew.

‚ÄúAnything dead coming back to life hurts.‚ÄĚ

Through part one Beloved¬†motivates Sethe to tell stories of the ordeals she faced in her past.¬† All of the memories hold a certain tension when they were brought to the surface. ¬†Reawakening the past is a reoccurring pattern that we’ve come to anticipate as it brings a new element to the story.¬† Instead of the novel reading in a progressive manner, we are giving blots of images from the characters’ past, however it is our goal to piece them together, similar to the film Memento.

In chapter three, Amy told Sethe “Anything dead coming back to life hurts”, this has been the emphasis of the first part of the story.¬† From the start of the novel, Paul D was the most reluctant to bring up the memories they all shared, he saw it as a dark cloud looming over them but later changed his perspective.¬† The characters realized that by recalling their past they are able to deal with the burden, as they say getting the “weight” of their shoulders.¬† Paul D’s personality depicts him as a typical “man” from the old days; courageous, strong, and willful. ¬†¬†However, when he was punished by the bit that was placed into his mouth, he felt his identity diminish.¬† He felt like a lesser man, which is one of the reasons why he was so reluctant to speak of his their past. ¬†The slaves often used songs to tell their stories, with Paul D being no exception. ¬†Another reason for the hesitance in the characters speaking up their past was the ¬†control their slave masters had over their speech. ¬†This¬†was evident when Sethe was whipped after reporting her milk stolen.

BHS & Only The Dead Know Brooklyn

Out of the photographs and other forms of illustrations at BHS, I was the most impressed by the maps of the train system.  I never fathomed how long the New York City Subway System has been in service and that its service map is so similar to the one today.  With the exception of a few added lines and new stations, the map is very similar to the one the MTA provides today.  Considering the advancements in in engineering technology in the last 40 years, its impressive to know the tracks have been around since the 20s.  I also took note of the pictures of Coney Island and other landmarks.  Just like the subway maps, majority of the environment has been preserved and remains to be used by the public (like the boardwalk and beach at Coney Island).  I think it adds a special kind of sentimental value that would not be preserved has the city been altered in its developmental structure.

in Only The Dead Know Brooklyn, “Big Guy” asked the narrator if he knew how to go to Brooklyn (in a thick Brooklynese accent). ¬†Big Guy had the idea of discovering Brooklyn by traveling around “jus to see the place”, including wandering around the bars in Red Hook, which to most would not be a good idea. ¬†I discovered Brooklyn in a similar way; going to new places with friends, wandering around unknown areas in search of something that we could eventually come back to. ¬†If you can afford the train fare, you can see all of Brooklyn.

Prithee

Prithee (Interjection): used to express a wish or request

From “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
“Ha! ha! ha!” shouted he, again and again; then composing himself, “Well, go on, Goodman Brown, go on; but prithee, don’t kill me with laughing!” ¬†(Paragraph 24)

I now understand that he was being “requested” not to continue making comments that were humorous, by the response of “Don’t kill me with laughing!”.