Despite his hesitation he continues his dark journey. Hawthorne writes that as Goodman Brown makes his way through the forest, he is swallowed up in the darkness and that he never visibly identifies those he feels are near him. The sounds “appeared” to pass along the road, and he “could have sworn” that he recognizes the voices of people he knows (Hawthorne 7). Hawthorne shows that the Puritans’ belief in witches and their suspicions toward one another are enough proof for them to accuse innocent people of sin and possibly convict them to death based on pure speculation and paranoid hysteria. One element of Young Goodman Brown is a criticism of Puritan self-righteousness; the devil points out to Brown that he has “a very general acquaintance here in New England” and then proceeds to cite instances of hypocrisy, prejudice, and persecution (Hawthorne 5).
Young Goodman Brown In the story of Young Goodman Brown the main character finds much more then he imagined by venturing into the forest. Leaving from the town of Salem, Massachusetts, Young Goodman Brown travels into the forest to confront and conquer the temptations of evil. However, the artistry of this story lies in what Goodman Brown finds, realizes, and becomes. In “Young Goodman Brown” the main character goes through a period of self-realization, and; ironically comes to harbor the evil he fears so much. The time period in which the story is set contributes heavily to the irony of the events.
Accepting Sin The popularity of modern dystopian stories is rooted in its dark themes and settings, but this interest goes back to the early stages of American Literature. Two of the most well-known American authors, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe, delved into the sinfulness of human nature and presence of evil in mortal lives through symbolic journeys of their characters. In the short story “Young Goodman Brown”, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s main protagonist, Goodman Brown, takes a journey through a forest with a mysterious man, who shows him the sinful nature of his townspeople. Hawthorne uses elements of American Romanticism to show how the refusal to accept that evil and goodness coexist in humans will lead to a bitter life of isolation.
Brown refuses to believe what he has just been told, in fact, he goes so far to loudly proclaim that “With heaven above and Faith below... ... middle of paper ... ...n a man is tremendous. Brown feels so overwhelmed by learning of the sins that alleged pious leaders commit, that he forgets his own sins. Lastly, Hawthorne’s description of Browns quest, epitomizes the amount of change one goes through when discovering the truth. It is seen that while at first he is able to withstand the temptations of the devil, the realization that others around him have fallen victim to the devil’s plots, just sends Brown over the edge. He comes out of his quest a more educated man, with a completely different mindset.
Through Brown’s experience in the woods, he shows the clash between the belief in depravity and visible sanctity. Brown is unaware of the sin of the “self” and inevitably comes to contact with the views he has over visible sanctity. His strong faith in the beginning of the story, demonstrated his arrogant character because he believed there was nothing that would shake his faith. He was psychologically unprepared to witness his own depravity and sanctity in others. Brown’s fate at the end of the story characterize his acceptance of his wickedness because he doubts God’s sovereignty and sees nothing but corruption.
Unable to resist temptation, this devilish allusion, in a form resembling Brown’s father, lures him deeper into the forest. The deeper he trekked and saw the evil side of his Puritan people, the more he became one with the darkness in his own soul. Hawthorne’s notions of sin and death are represented in the allusion to original sin and the Fall of Man, the hidden sin within his community and the death of Goodman Brown’s own faith. Original sin and the Fall of Man in this story, take on the perspective of the Puritan or Christian faith. In this context it refers to the temptation in the Garden of Eden which Adam succumbs to, resulting in the idea that evil exists in man; past present and future.
When he says "My love and my Faith, of all nights of the year, this one night I must tarry away from thee." at the beginning of the story Goodman is not only saying goodbye to his wife, he also is foreshadowing his evil meeting that night and his loss of Faith in God. Later, when he is late meeting the devil, he says "Faith kept me back awhile", as if his trust in God made it hard for him to show up. When Goodman sees his wife going with the rest of the townspeople to worship the devil he cries "My Faith is gone!" All of Goodman Brown's faith in God is based on his Faith in other people, most importantly his wife.
As soon as Reverend Parris is appointed to the church in Salem John Proctor begins to resent the minister's superior attitude and greed. An outspoken man, Proctor takes every opportunity to criticize Reverend Parris and the now corrupt church. This resentment leads John to use his wife Elizabeth's illness as an excuse to stay away from Sunday services, a decision that will come back to haunt the Proctors in the future. On the very first day that the town starts buzzing about witches, John questions Reverend Parris' motives in front of several of Salem's most prominent citizens when he learns that Parris has sent for the Reverend John Hale, an expert on witches, without calling a town meeting first. A firm believer that the citizens should decide on Salem's course of action; John uses this situation ... ... middle of paper ... ...ches.
He becomes cynical of his surroundings and lives his life accordingly. His discovery of evil results in his loss of grips with humanity. He comes to believe there is evil in all people and is unable to accept it. He grows old with contempt for his former idols, and never again is he able to conceive of the idea that life is pure, grand, and good. At his funeral, his family has nothing encouraging to put on his grave, and neighbors do not even bother to attend.
In 'Young Goodman Brown,'; Hawthorne makes the reader believe that Goodman Brown has learned that truth about the world and how evil it really is. In the story the accounts of Goodman Brown let you believe that he has truly seen the evil in the world and knows what lurks behind everybody masks. He makes you realize that even though the person may look holy and religious that evilness is all around us and most people will never ever find out the truth. The character Young Goodman Brown written by Nathaniel Hawthorne finds many issues of evil concerning the town's people in which he lives, about himself, and the reality behind the evil. 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.