Tag Archives: Week 4


Powwow (Young Goodman Brown/Paragraphs (43, 52, 56)
Pronunciation: Pau – Wau

-A social gathering of Native Americans that usually includes dancing.
-A meeting for people to discuss something.
-A Native American Priest/Medicine Man.

-Paragraph 43: They tell me that some of our community are to be here from Falmouth and beyond, and others from Connecticut and Rhode Island; besides several of the Indian powwows….
-Paragraph 52: Come witch, come wizard, come Indian powwow….
-Paragraph 56: Scattered, also, among their pale-faced enemies, were the Indian priests, or powwows….

Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/powwow

Metamorphosis and Young Goodman Brown

I think “Metamorphosis” by Frank Kafka  could be read metaphorically. This could easily represent a story of someone who got very sick and the family can’t deal with him in the condition he is in. Not only do they have to care for him (and guard him from sight), they now have to go to work since he cannot support them anymore.

Throughout the story he gets to be more and more of a burden, and he slowly gets more and more neglected.  When his mother and sister try to help him out and rearrange his room, he is spotted by his mother (who couldn’t bear to see him in that state) and she faints.

Near the end, Grete is trying to convince her parents to “get rid of it” (Gregor isn’t referred to as he at this point). At this point we see that he is nothing but a burden to the family. This can (sadly enough) be a metaphor for someone withering away in a coma. He can understand them and hears more than think, but cannot communicate with them. When they were getting near the point of “pulling the plug”, Gregor passed on, relieving the family of their tremendous burden.


In the first few paragraphs of “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Brown is talking to Faith, his wife. It seems that at the same time Faith could also be a personification of his actual faith.  “Faith kept me back awhile” (12) is a great line. At this point in the story the reader doesn’t know where Brown is heading, only that is something bad.  He was kept back by his wife, but also by his belief, and his knowledge that what he is doing is wrong.

Essentially Goodman is in fact a good man and changes his mind before committing the evil deed. “My Faith is gone” he cried after hearing his wife is there with the sinners. This is referring to  his wife but can also mean he lost the faith he so barely held onto moments before.

“Young Goodman Brown”

In “Young Goodman Brown,” the following passage stood out and defined the story to me:

“Be it so if you will; but, alas! it was a dream of evil omen for young Goodman Brown. A stern, a sad, a darkly meditative, a distrustful, if not a desperate man did he become, from the night of that fearful dream. On the Sabbath day, when the congregation were singing a holy psalm, he could not listen because an anthem of sin rushed loudly upon his ear and drowned all the blessed strain. When the minister spoke from the pulpit with power and fervid eloquence, and, with his hand on the open Bible, of the sacred truths of our religion, and of saint-like lives and triumphant deaths, and of future bliss or misery unutterable, then did Goodman Brown turn pale, dreading lest the roof should thunder down upon the gray blasphemer and his hearers. Often, waking suddenly at midnight, he shrank from the bosom of Faith; and at morning or eventide, when the family knelt down at prayer, he scowled and muttered to himself, and gazed sternly at his wife, and turned away. And when he had lived long, and was borne to his grave a hoary corpse, followed by Faith, an aged woman, and children and grandchildren, a goodly procession, besides neighbors not a few, they carved no hopeful verse upon his tombstone, for his dying hour was gloom.”

After Brown’s dreadful dream, he started to view everyone differently. From his dream, he has seen what people are or could be capable of. So he distrusted the whole village, including his wife, Faith. He basically spent the rest of his life trying to avoid contact with people, for he was frightened by them.  I presume the message that Nathaniel Hawthorne is trying to give in this story is that some people have a hidden personality, and they have a great way of hiding it.


“The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka was a very interesting read. To me as a reader, it stood out big time because of how surreal it feels when you read it. The way Kafka wrote also used added to the surrealism. One example being the injury Gregor sustained. I could picture those apples and the apple that remained lodged in his flesh as “a visible reminder of his injury.” The struggles he had as a bug can also be pictured. He wasn’t human anymore so of course there would be massive change one main part being his image and feelings from family/loved ones.

It’s sad to see family turn against you. He was “useless” to them and he brought a burden with his transformation. With his presence as a bug, he couldn’t provide for his family and no profit could come with him there. Pretty much, it added greater struggle to the household and frustrated everyone. He morphed from being the carry of the household, to an outcast ignored by his family. What’s also messed up is the fact that his death wasn’t really noticed or mourned. His family just let it go can acted like Gregor never existed even if he was the reason the family was still living under a roof and eating.

“The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka was indeed a very interesting read. It was a nightmare at its finest. It’s something that I’d be afraid of. Losing your humanity and the love from your family. Now that’s terrifying. The word kafkaesque is defined as the nightmarish writing style of Kafka. Reading this story did in fact feel like a nightmare which is why it stood out to me. Realism in Fiction is something I like and this story brought it to me. It also brought something I fear and that is to be turned against by the people you are really close to. Luckily the chances of that happening are low but it’s still something to fear. I now just hope reading this doesn’t bring me a similar nightmare.



My Thoughts on “Young Goodman Brown” and “Metamorphosis”

In Young Goodman Brown, I believe that the devil was having a meeting with Mr. Brown in order to persuade Mr. Brown to worship him (Page 2, p.13). This is greatly exemplified with Mr. Brown stating that his father “never went into the woods on such an errand, nor his father before him and that his race was of honest men and good Christians, since the days of the martyrs” (Page 3, p.17). Mr. Brown also states that his family was a “people of prayer and good works and that they abide no such wickedness” (Page 3, p.19). However, the devil claims to Mr. Brown that he had been “well acquainted with his family, that he helped his father and grandfather, and that both were good friends to him” (Page 3, p.18). Mr. Brown denied the devil’s invitation because he wanted to stick to the faith that he grew up in, saw that it was not morally right, and did want to let his wife, Faith, be saddened by his wicked decision. The story gets very interesting at the end when Mr. Brown sees people from his town, that he thought was devout Christians, chanting demonic incantations, in a ritual like communion, even his wife was involved (Page 8, p. 56-Page 10, p.69). Therefore, Hawthorne was allegorically stating that people can put a façade of being holy or pious but are really not what they display because they can be living a hidden life of sin that can only be discovered through revelation.

In The Metamorphosis, Gregor transformed from a human travelling salesman into an insect, whether it was a cockroach or beetle, all I could say was “eeeewwww” throughout the duration of my reading. This is greatly exemplified when Gregor wakes up to find his human body transformed on his bed. He discovered that he had “many legs” (Page I, p.1), that his voice was “beginning to sound more like an animal” (Page I, p.20), and that he “lacked any teeth” (Page I, p.22). When Gregor tried to excuse himself for his tardiness to the visiting chief clerk from his job, the whole family, including the chief clerk, was mortified to see what Gregor had become. So, Gregor’s father began to chase Gregor with a stick until he returned to his room (Page I, p.26). In that process of being pushed into his room, “a side of Gregor’s body was painfully injured, leaving vile brown flecks on his white door” (Page I, p.26). This is the point of the story that truly shows that Gregor is a disgusting pest. All I kept thinking was that “he is a cockroach.” Also, I thought about the times I have killed a cockroach. Whenever I would finish stepping on a roach, I would always see smeared brown flecks from the dead roach on the bottom of my shoes, eeeewww.