Hawthorne's use of symbolism in his allegorical tale Young Goodman Brown causes the main character's revelations about the sin within his community, his family and himself. Young Goodman Brown's journey into the forest is best defined as a kind of "general, indeterminate allegory, representing man's irrational drive to leave faith, home, and security temporarily behind, for whatever reason, and take a chance with one(more) errand onto the wilder shores of experience" (Martin). Brown has a curiosity that "kills" his naive outlook on life and changes him until his death. He has a mission to go into the forest and meet the devil. A mission that he begins out of curiosity and a "deep need to see if the teachings of his childhood, his religion, and his culture, have armed him sufficiently to look the devil in the face and return unscathed" (Hodara 1).
From the start of his journey he acknowledges the impious adventure he was about to take. His wife even doubted his errand, and gave him a reason to retreat from his voyage. Goodman Brown didn't want to end his journey atrocious as it was, he needed to discover for himself the truth as it may be called of mankind. Like many people who take journeys on there own Goodman Brown needed to follow his own path. Filled with gloomy looking trees, and the darkness of... ... middle of paper ... ...rocession of children and grandchildren, both Young Goodman Brown and Faith passed away.
My third and final theme is the fear of the wilderness. The themes are apparent threw out the entire story. In Young Goodman brown the weakness of public moral is revealed. This theme is corruptible by the puritan society’s emphasis on public morality which weakens the individual’s person’s religious faith. Even though Goodman Brown decided to go into the forest to meet the devil he is scared to be seen with the devil so he hides from Goody Cloyse, The minister, and Deacon Gookin.
Goodman let his excessive pride in himself destroy his relationship with his wife and community, and his ability to worship God. Goodman Brown goes into the woods to meet with the devil, therefore, he is questioning his faith from the start. He steps away from his faith for a short period of time to go on his journey saying that, “After this one night, I’ll cling to her (Faith) skirts and follow her to Heaven” (Hawthorne 1). This is one example where Goodman’s excessive pride comes in to play. He feels that he can do this sinful deed because he promised himself he would repent afterwards.
I think that he is seeing everyone as perfect people, but he is having impure thoughts about himself and his past. In order to deal with these problems within himself, he is making up that everyone has this awful bad side. When he goes into the forest, he believes he is talking to the devil with looks much like his grandfather. The devil is feeding him bad thoughts about everyone he knows, even his own father and his wife Faith. Next, I believe that Goodman Brown has had a rough past and in order for him to overcome this within himself he must search for attention.
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... ... middle of paper ... ...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.
When he meets the devil, he declares to him that “Faith kept me back awhile '.”(44). As he goes deeper into the forest, his mind continues to disturb him. At one point of the story he holds regret at the fact that his action will break Faith 's heart, while at another he asks himself why he should quit Faith. But still treks forward, going deeper and farther until his senses defeat him. He tries to find himself against overwhelming thoughts by gazing above to the sky.
As Goodman Brown 's journey gets darker and darker, he loses faith in the moral goodness of humans and his own religion instead of accepting the fact that humans are imperfect. On his path, he finds Goody Cloyse taking the path of evil; the person who taught Brown his catechism and acts as a spiritual and moral guide for him; a woman whom he believed was on a path to heaven. Later, he discovers that his minister and Deacon Good are also taking the path of sin. After spiralling into madness after learning the truth of the lack of moral goodness, Young Goodman Brown reaches his destination at the heart of the forest. He finds the residents of his town surrounding a dark figure,who describes a satanic ritual.
Young Goodman Brown in Historical Context In order to grasp the allegory Hawthorne uses in Young Goodman Brown, the story needs to be considered in a way that recognizes the blending of its historical background at the time of the Salem Witch trials and its relationship to religious symbolism within that perspective. By understanding the Puritan beliefs about sin, the forest and their own inherent faith, it becomes easier for the reader to understand the deeper meaning of Goodman Brown’s journey into the forest. The woods that Brown enters to meet with the devil are the embodiments of his own fears and suspicions. He is uncertain about making a contract with the devil saying “Faith kept me back awhile” (Hawthorne 4). Despite his hesitation he continues his dark journey.