In the story, Goodman Brown decides to embark on a night journey, with some kind of evil intentions. He is guided by a man who resembles his grandfather, and despite his hesitancy, proceeds to his destination. Brown is shocked to see religious figures along the way, who share the same evil intentions. He is driven to meet the end when he hears his wife Faith's voice calling out. She is his one strand of good that he struggles to hold on to; when he realizes she might be captured by evil, he fills with fear. At the end is their meeting with the devil-figure, where he calls all people to come together under evil.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. "Young Goodman Brown." An Introduction to Literature. Ed. Sylvan Barnet, Morton Berman, Willam Burto. 10th ed. New York: Harper Collins, 1993. 74-85.
Although Goodman Brown still seems to have a little faith in himself, he has lost his trust of people around the world. Goodman’s own fault of losing his faith causes him to hide from rest of the world. Rather than seeing the good people around him, he only sees evil people and thinks they are hypocrites. In reality, Goodman Brown is the hypocrite because he thinks he is able to pass judgment on people who sin, whereas he does not care about his own sin. Nathaniel Hawthorne uses the dark forest and many symbols throughout the story to represent evil and sin which surrounds the world. The main point that he is trying to make is that all people are not as good as they think, so everybody should hate the sin not the sinner.
The confusion which the dark woods create for Goodman Brown symbolizes the blindness Goodman Brown has to the Puritan town’s corruption and evil. The beginning of his journey the readers acknowledge that Goodman Brown, “had taken a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest of trees of the forest” (Hawthorne 261). The willingness which Goodman Brown has to take a dark and gloomy road symbolizes the willingness for Goodman Brown to stay blind to all that is going on throughout the town. The woods themselves being darkened and gloomy suggests the secrets that are hidden and if found could lead to great sadness. Since Goodman Brown is blind to the evil rituals that occur in the woods and his willingness to go into the woods, his actions suggest that Goodman Brown is living in a false sense of security. While walking through this dark and gloomy road, Goodman Brown and the traveler come across Goody Cloyse. During this instance the traveler’s walking stick becomes full of life and Goody Cloyse disappears soon after (Hawthorne 264). This situation with the walking stick in the woods shows the reader that the woods hold the truth and Goodman Brown’s obscurity of the truth. Continuing on his journey, Goodman Brown finally comes to the clearing. In that moment Goodman Brown, “Stepped forth from the shadow of the trees” (Hawthorne 269). As Goodman Brown does this he is awakened to the complete truth of the town. He sees the congregation, the supposedly holy people, his wife who was pure and innocent, and the ritual. Goodman Brown has emerged from his comforting darkness and out into the clarity that would separate the truth and the façade that the townspeople had made for the town. The moment in which he steps out, however, is when the Deacon asks for the new converts to come out (Hawthorne 269). This signifies a natural attraction to the area
Let us begin with the opening lines of the story: “YOUNG GOODMAN BROWN came forth at sunset, into the street of Salem village. . .” What is Goodman Brown symbolic of? 1. According to Levy, he “is Everyman. The bargain he has struck with Satan is the universal one . . . . Initially, he is a naive and immature young man who fails to understand the gravity of the step he has taken . . . [which is] succeeded by a presumably adult determination to resi...
Young Goodman Brown is a good man. (Hence his name). He is a young man, who is naïve to most of his surroundings. He depends on others around him to keep his faith in god. In the story he is meant to represent "everyman" in society and the struggle they have with the evil within themselves.
As he traveled through the gloomy woods, he knew what he was going to see, but still wanted to witness what happens in the ceremony at the same time he wanted nothing to do with the devil “it is my purpose to return whence I came” Goodman wanting to turn back to the village couldn’t because the old man kept telling him about his father, Goodman wanted to know more. After he finished his conversation he started to return home when he thought he heard Faith’s voice, so he went and grabbed the staff “Goodman Brown grasp his staff and set forth, at such a rate that he seemed to fly along the forest path”, right at that moment his spiritual faith had become corrupted for the worse. Goodman not sure what to believe anymore, he has a moral dilemma between his thinking everyone is a follower of the devil, and seeing the good in
All in All mr.brown entering the forest was one of the worst decision he made in his life. As the reuslt of entering the forest he trust was gone from everyone he knew because meeting the devil made him see everyone he encouter as evil. Futhermore he didnt trust his wife who he been married to for three months because he walked away from her as she greeted him back from the forest with open arms. Even more giving up all his faith to the devil becuase he questioned his faith from the strange thing that were taking place inside the woods. The author of goodman brown uses the people that have major influence throughout his childhood and beyond.Following that when he first met the devil he looked just like his father as he walked along his journey to evil. Young goodman brown tells a story of good vs evil as well a questioning mr.browns faith plus religious beliefs he thinks he has in the godly
Young Goodman Brown is about a young, newly wedded man who leaves his wife, Faith, and to go on a journey into the forest one night. Young Goodman Brown has an innocent and maybe even naïve soul and was looked upon by townspeople as a “silly fellow” (Hawthorne 83). He is accompanied by a mysterious, older man who is later on revealed to be the devil. As they are walking, Young Goodman Brown tries to turn back several times and at one point succeeds in getting rid of the devil. However, when he sees that even his wife has surrendered to the same evil path that he was on, he stops resisting and continues into the forest. He ends up at a witches’ sabbath where he sees familiar faces of people whom he previously looked up to for spiritual guidance; he also finds Faith there and becomes devastated. In the end, he cries out to resist the devil and then wakes up to find himself alone in the forest.
"Why did Goodman Brown leave his wife to fulfill an evil purpose?" "What was his evil purpose?" "Who did he meet in the woods?" "Was it a dream or was it reality?" These are just a few of the questions that ran through my head after reading the short story, Young Goodman Brown. After several nights of reading, rereading, thinking, and debating I've received many revelations of this story; one being the true identity of the "fellow-traveler" mentioned throughout this adventurous tale. You see, he was not just any man, he was the devil himself.
He is a resident in Salem, a good Christian, and was recently married. Goodman Brown symbolizes both innocence and corruption in this story. Innocence when he wants to believe the goodness of everyone in the city, and corruption when he thinks the devil has taken over every mind of the city. Originally, the town’s people he believed were good and faithful, were all seen in the ceremony. Even Faith, his wife, whom he considered to be pure was seen at the ceremony. His doubtfulness proves he does not have pure faith in his religion. He starts questioning his own faith. This is proved when Goodman Brown goes to the forest, despite knowing what might happen there. This symbolizes the fault of human nature, tending to follow the general
In Young Goodman Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne tells the tale of a man and his discovery of evil. Hawthorne’s primary concern is with evil and how it affects Young Goodman Brown. Through the use of tone and setting, Hawthorne portrays the nature of evil and the psychological effects it can have on man. He shows how discovering the existence of evil brings Brown to view the world in a cynical way. Brown learns the nature of evil and, therefore, feels surrounded by its presence constantly.
In "Young Goodman Brown," Nathaniel Hawthorne, through the use of deceptive imagery, creates a sense of uncertainty that illuminates the theme of man's inability to operate within a framework of moral absolutism. Within every man there is an innate difference between good and evil and Hawthorne's deliberate use of ambiguity mirrors this complexity of human nature. Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown, is misled by believing in the perfectibility of humanity and in the existence of moral absolutes. According to Nancy Bunge, Hawthorne naturally centers his story upon a Puritan protagonist to convey the "self-righteous" that he regards as the "antithesis of wisdom"(4). Consequently, Young Goodman Brown is unable to accept the indefinable vision of betrayal and evil that he encounters in the forest. The uncertainty of this vision, enhanced by Hawthorne's deliberate, yet effective, use of ambiguity, is also seen in the character of Faith, the shadows and darkness of the forest, and the undetectable boundaries that separate nightmarish dreams from reality.
In the story 'Young Goodman Brown'; Goodman Brown learns about evil in the towns people and how what he thought was the truth is really not. When Goodman Brown starts his voyage he knew what he was going in the woods to do, what he didn't realize is that the same reason he went to the woods was the same reason as the towns people. When Goodman encounters Goody Cloyse in the woods he is shocked that he sees her out there 'A marvel, truly, that Goody Cloyse should be so far in the wilderness at night fall.';(Hawthorne 98) When he learns of her travels and of how she is acquainted with the old man he is in disbelieve that a women that taught him religion is evil. When Goody asks the old man for a hand to take her to a communion he offers her cane and throws it down when it hits the ground it turns alive and Goody Close disappears. Leading you to believe that she is just an imagination to get Brown to believe in the evil. Goodman Brown also sees other town's members in the woods such as highly respected people such as Deacon Gookin, and even his wife Faith. When Brown learns of Faith participating in this gathering in the woods he is distraught he loses his mind and goes crazy. Goodman brown learns valuable lessons in the woods about his town and the people and about the world. His journey changed the way he looked at things when he awoke from that night his feelings towards the people changed he believed that everybody is evil.