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Good vs. Evil

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A major theme in “Young Goodman Brown” is the battle of good vs. evil in man. Throughout the story, Goodman Brown struggles with the choice to either stay good or to follow the devil into the forest. People in real life also struggle with this choice every day. It’s always a lot easier to stray from the good path than it is to stay on it. Just like today, he is tempted by those around him; like his grandfather, his father, his wife, and mainly, the devil himself. Goodman Brown is tempted many times to choose evil during his journey through the forest.
Goodman Brown is first tempted by evil when the old man, who symbolizes the devil, tells him that his father and grandfather had once taken this same journey. This influences his choice to continue the journey. We sometimes choose to do things that we know are wrong because others are doing it. If it’s okay for them to do it, then it must be okay for us to do it! Most of the time this only leads to trouble. It didn’t help Goodman Brown as he continued to go even deeper into the forest. As he went deeper into the forest, he becomes more deeply involved with the devil, or evil. It became darker and he loses the light of his beliefs.
Goodman Brown met the man in a forest outside of Salem. The forest represents evil and danger. Forests are normally dark with many scary creatures lurking in them. As he is walking, Goodman Brown says, "There may be a devilish Indian behind every tree... What if the devil himself should be at my very elbow!" (Literature pg. 91). This statement foreshadows that the man he meets is the devil. His journey through the forest represents his walk into the evil side, as he gets deeper into the forest, he strays further and further from God.
The old man carrie...

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...len from his faith in God. For the rest of his life he has a hard time trusting anyone, because he thinks that even if they seem like good, moral people on the outside, they could be evil on the inside. Although he may have resisted evil, the devil still seems to have won in the end.

Works Cited

"Essay on Good and Evil (based on Nathaniel Hawthore's Young Goodman Brown)." Essay on Good and Evil (based on Nathaniel Hawthore's Young Goodman Brown). N.p., n.d. Web. 24
Mar. 2014. .

Kennedy, X. & Gioia D. "Young Goodman Brown." Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama and Writing. N.p.: Pearson Education, n.d. 90+. Print.

SparkNotes. SparkNotes, n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2014. .
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