Young Goodman Brown Allusion Activity

  • 8 pages
  • Subject: Allusion, Literary Devices, Lesson Plans and Educational Resources
  • Common Core Standards: RL.11-12.1, RL.11-12.4, RL.9-10.1, RL.9-10.4, RL.9-10.9

Product Description

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1835 story “Young Goodman Brown” tells the story of the titular Goodman Brown, a young puritan living in 17th-century Salem, Massachusetts. One day, Brown leaves the cozy Christian confines of Salem and journeys into the woods, where he meets the devil himself. The devil pierces into Brown’s heart and mind, forcing the young man to reconsider his life and his most basic beliefs. Hawthorne weaves Christian allusions into the story in his efforts to turn Brown’s Puritan faith on its head.

Skills: analysis, close reading, drawing inferences from a text, interpreting implications of allusions

About This Document

The Owl Eyes Allusions activity gives students an opportunity to practice identifying and analyzing allusions. Allusions broaden the scope of a text and imbue passages of the text with deeper meaning by subtly drawing on literature, history, science, geography, philosophy, mythology, or other cultural sources. The main components of this activity include the following:

  • A contextualized paragraph of the text
  • A handout defining “allusion” with examples from classic works
  • A list of tips for spotting allusions
  • A step-by-step guide to activity procedure
  • An example answer

In completing this activity, students will be able to identify, analyze, and interpret allusions, thereby accessing deeper meanings within the text.