Take a story's temperature by studying its tone. Is it hopeful? Cynical? Snarky? Playful?
Formal and Serious
For the bonus round, name one thing that made you laugh in "Young Goodman Brown"?
And still waiting.
And still waiting for you to—oh forget it, we've made our point. Now, Hawthorne may not have been the life of the party, but he could have a sense of humor. Sketches like "Little Annie's Ramble" and "A Rill from the Town Pump" aren't exactly gut-busters, but they're ironic, clever, and lively. Not so for "Young Goodman Brown." The narration can be eloquent and to the point, but Hawthorne's narrator never takes matters lightly. This is, after all, a story about betrayal and deep-rooted evil. Frivolity won't do.