Category Archives: Week 3


Charwoman is a noun

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary Charwoman means:  A woman who cleans houses or offices.

The word charwoman is used by Nathaniel Hawthorne in the class handout entitled, “Young Goodman Brown,” on page 43 paragraph 3.

Hawthorne stated, “Dead?, asked Mrs. Samsa,  looking at the charwoman.”   Even though in the next line of the story Hawthorne wrote, “That’s what I said, replied the cleaner.”  I still did not understand why she was referred to as the charwoman.  Now I understand the word charwoman and cleaner is used interchangeably to describe this woman who was hired to clean house by the Samsa family.


Unison is an adjective

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary unison means:  At the same time, simultaneously.

Unison is used by Nathaniel Hawthorne in the story, “Young Goodman Brown,” on page 7.   The narrator stated, Goodman Brown cried out, and his cry was lost to his own ear, by its unison with the cry of the desert.”

This means Goodman Brown cried out at the same time that the forest noises could be heard.  These noises prevented him or anyone from hearing his cries.

The Metamorphosis


“The Metamorphosis” can be read allegorically. Franz Kafka seems uses Gregor’s metamorphosis into a bug as a statement or symbol of something that happens in people’s life. I felt that Gregor turning into a bug is extremely significant to the story. People are used for many things in life to help enhances someone else’s life. Many times when a person is no longer significant, the user can be treated as if they are not important. As if the person had never done anything for them before or appreciate everything they have done for them in the past. This is exactly what has happen in the story. After the family finds out their son/ brother has turned into a bug, they slowly change their feelings towards him. He becomes a burden to the family. Grete takes on the job of feeding him and cleaning up after him. His father becomes frustrated and stressed. They could not depend on Gregor due to the fact that he became useless. He could no longer work to provide for his family. He was the only one working paying the bills. Life has rendered Gregor insignificantly.

Due to the family needing money, they brought in three new gentlemen as tenants to live to bring in money into the household. One night when the three men were listening to Grete the daughter playing the violin Gregor came out of his room to listen. The middle man out of the three noticed the “bug” Gregor and highly did not tolerant rodents. Therefore, the three gentlemen said they would not pay for rent. This made a huge impact towards the family especially Grete. She came to the conclusion that Gregor is not returning back to his normal state and all he has done is be a burden to the family. She felt like he was no longer part of the family, he was a monster. The father felt exactly the same way and thought that Gregor should leave too. This took a toll towards Gregor and towards the next day he passes away. After he died the family felt a weight has been lifted off of them. The moved on with their live as if Gregor has never existed.

Kafka uses Gregor and his metamorphosis to speak to a bigger societal problem. As stated above, his family discards him because he can no longer take care of them. His sister morphed by becoming the provider and maturing into a young women. In this case, I think that kafkaesque means change. Gregor went from being the provider to becoming useless. This can also be a message as him going from a big to small from him morphing into a bug. After reading the definition for kafkaesque it means characteristic or reminiscent of the oppressive or nightmarish qualities. Due to this story “The Metamorphosis” this meaning make sense because in the beginning of the story when Gregor woke up, he could not turn over on his side. He had realized that he has morphed into a bug which can be a great nightmare. This is why he quickly went back to sleep to disremember his thoughts of what he has become.

“The Metamorphosis”

While reading “The Metamophosis,” I was aware that the narrator had implied that Gregor Samsa was awake at the beginning of the story.   However, as the story progressed and he remained a disgusting vermin I thought it was one of those dreams where Samsa was only dreaming that he had awaken.

The situation presented by Franz Kafka in the story is indeed disgusting.   It is also quite disturbing and very unrealistic. Regarding the story metaphorically does make it more easily tolerated.   I thought the vermin state which took away all the human qualities and functions of Samsa that both himself and his family loved, and left him helpless and trapped was a symbol of issues Samsa was facing in real life.

As I  read the story I realized Samsa was under  a great deal of stress and anxiety because his mom, dad and sister depended on him solely financially.   He apparently hated his job, but could not quit.  However he was hopeful when he stated on page 14, “Well, there is still hope; once I’ve got the money together to pay off my parents debt to him – another five or six years…….then I will make the big change.”  Its as if he gained this vermin state where he is of no use to his family to see what their response would be like if he quit his job and was no longer able to provide for them.

I believe “The Metamorphosis,” is also an allegory, but in a different way than “Young Goodman Brown.”  The vermin state could be interpreted to have some moral meaning.   Before his transformation  Samsa appeared to be somewhat okay with the arrangement to take care of his family.   However, at such a young age he was also tired of this huge responsibility and financial obligation.  He felt trapped.   I think before he transformed  he was subconsciously thinking about what it would be like to be free of all the responsibilities he had.  He apparently needed to see how he would be treated if he could no longer bear the burden of the family.  The treatment he received in his vermin state has some moral meaning.   The family including his dear sister seem to turn on him rather quickly but when he earned money every one loved him and were comfortable and happy with him.  He was once their pride and joy but now with this transformation he was now a hideous creature that repulsed and shamed them.

As I read the story I could picture Samsa as a vermin.   I felt repulsed but at the same time I felt sorry for him.  I could easily visualize him waking up and discovering his new body and trying to figure out how it worked.  The story reminded me of a Science Fiction movie.  The use of the word kafkaesque indicates the nightmarish qualities of the story.   Because of these qualities I kept reading the story anticipating that Samsa was about to wake up, but he never did.

“Young Goodman Brown”

In the story “Young Goodman Brown,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne the type of narration used includes third person omniscient.   With this type of narration the narrator gives the reader information from anywhere in the story.  Therefore, the narrator is able to give information even when the setting changes.   The narrative style is also third person limited because the narrator is only able to give information about what is in the mind of the point-of -view character, Goodman Brown.  The narrator does not have access to the thoughts of other characters.  The narrator does have access to the feelings of some of the flat characters.  This is noted on page 8 where the narrator stated, “… and fair young girls who trembled lest their mothers espy them.”

The narrator begins to tell the story from the setting of Young Goodman Brown’s home as he is about to leave home on his mysterious journey.  The setting changes as Goodman Brown continues on his journey through Salem Village and into the woods.  On page two Hawthorne wrote,  “He had taken a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest.”   The narration continues even when Goodman Brown leaves the setting of his fellow traveler and hides in the bushes.  While he is hidden the narrator gives narration from Goodman Brown’s hiding place  and also from the Goodman Brown’s companion and Goody Cloyse.

The wording of the story indicates this is truly third person as the narrator does not take part in the story.  For example, Hawthorne wrote,  “Friend, said he…” on page 5.  On page 1, “Poor little faith thought he.”  Also on page 7, “My Faith is gone!, cried he.”

Third person limited narration continues when the narrator gives an insight into the thoughts and feelings of Young Goodman Brown. This on page 5 when Goodman Brown had apparently changed his mind about continuing his unchristian like journey.   “The young man sat a few moments by the road-side, applauding himself greatly, and thinking with how clear a conscience he should meet the minister on his morning walk, nor shrink from the eye of Deacon Gookin.”

The narrator has not given readers an understanding of why Goodman Brown decides to go an this journey that he knew was   against his christian values.  He came to his senses and does restrain himself for a moment from going further, but when he saw the pink ribbons belonging to his wife her presence there propelled him onward.   Goodman brown is rather naive because along the journey he hid himself from the sight of Goody Cloyse, his pastor and the deacon.  All of whom he had no doubt were good christian.   His companion laughed at him on page 3 when he said, “…how should I meet the eye of that good old man, our minister, at Salem Village?  Oh his voice would make me tremble, both Sabbath-day and lecture-day.”   His companion laughed because he knew these people were all hypocrites who professed Christianity but who were also devil worshipers.  He also knew all these  people  would be in attendance when they reached their destination.   Goodman Brown at this point was in for a surprise.


Young Goodman Brown Discussion

In “Young Goodman Brown,” the narration by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is told in third person omniscient where an all-knowing narrator not only reports the facts but may also interpret events and relate the thoughts and feelings of any character.
For example, in [paragraph 21] “As he spoke, he pointed his staff at a female figure on the path, in whom Goodman Brown recognized a very pious and exemplary dame,” it is obvious that the narration is in third person, and what makes it omniscient is the details known by the narrator such as the inside feeling of Goodman Brown which is the recognition ” Brown recognized a very pious.”
Many other similar passages with omniscient point of view can be found in the story.

The narration in “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne was written partially in third-person limited view and in third-person omniscient view which means that the narrator stands outside the story and can see into the thoughts and feelings of only one or two characters in the story. In this case, the narrator can look into Young Goodman Brown and tell us what Brown is thinking and felling at any given moment, but the narrator’s power to observe the inner person is limited. The narrator is limited, meaning that the narrator reports Young Goodman Brown’s inner thoughts and feelings but leaves the reader to draw his or her own conclusions about those thoughts and feelings. In other words, the narrator does not judge the character in a moral sense. When Brown leaves his wife, Faith, to begin his dark journey into the forest, the narrator observes his inner feelings of guilt. “What a wretch his I am I to leave her on such an errand! . . . Well, she’s a blessed angel on earth; and after this one night I’ll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven.” Hawthorne wants is to understand that Young Goodman Brown fully appreciates the danger this journey poses to his soul but, more important, the temptation to walk on the Puritan wild side is too great to be overcome. The narrator’s limited omniscience is obvious when Young Goodman Brown’s traveling companion appears. “As nearly as could discerned, the second traveler was about fifty years old, apparently in the same rank of life as Goodman Brown, and bearing a considerable resemblance to him.” The narrators use of the duel point-of-view allows him to leave the reader guessing about everything that happens to Young Goodman Brown.


Proselyte is noun.

According to Merriam Webster dictionary the word proselyte means:  A new convert (as to a faith or cause).

The word proselyte was used by Nathaniel Hawthorne on page 9 of the class handout entitled, “Young Goodman Brown.”

Hawthorne wrote, “And there stood the proselytes, beneath the canopy of fire.”

Goodman Brown and a young woman whose face was covered, but whom he later realized was his beloved Faith were the proselytes.  They were the ones who were newly converted to  join the fiend, (devil) worshippers.


Exhorted is a transitive verb.

According to Merriam Webster dictionary exhorted means:  To try to influence (someone) by words or advice.   To strongly urge (someone) to do something.

Nathaniel Hawthorne used the word exhorted on page 5 of the class handout entitled, “Young Goodman Brown.”

Hawthorne wrote, “They continued to walk onward, while the elder traveler exhorted his companion to make good speed ….”

My understanding is that the elderly gentleman travelling with Goodman Brown was urging him to hurry so that they could get to where they were going quickly.




Durst is a verb.

According to Merriam Webster dictionary durst means:  Archaic and dialect past of dare.

In other words, durst is an old fashion way of saying dare.  It is also a way certain groups of people spoke depending on the social group they belonged to.

The word durst is used by Nathaniel Hawthorne on page six of the class handout entitled, “Young Goodman Brown.”

Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote, “Goodman Brown alternately crouched and stood on tip-toe, pulling aside the branches, and thrusting forth his head as far as he durst, without discerning a shadow.”

Goodman Brown was making his best effort to avoid being detected in the bushes by anyone passing.  At the same time he wanted to see who was passing.  He extended his head from the bushes as far as he thought would be appropriate for him to identify who is passing without them in turn seeing him.