Although he felt guilty leaving his Faith back home in their early stage of marriage, he justifies this guilt by swearing that after this night he will "cling to her skirt and follow her to heaven." However, will there be another day for Goodman Brown to share his life with Faith? Although his faith, described with "pink ribbon," is sincere, pure, and innocent, is his will stong enough to walk though "a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest?" Goodman believes nothing can tempt his faith, not even a devil. Upon entering the forest he is suspicious of every rock and tree, thinking something evil will jump out at him.
The reader is left to guess whether a single incident or a series of incidents cause this course that leads Brown to an unhappy life. Despite the lack of information on Goodman Brown's past, the cause of the trip into the forest is known. He has sinned and knows he has of his own free will. Also Brown experiences the sin of pride. He wants the knowledge about what nobody really knows about: the devil.
He now looks at them in a different light (literally and figuratively). He comes to find Faith, the Faith that just the night before he clung so dearly too, but due to the revelation of sin of all those in his life, he now also views differently. Young Goodman’s Faith is not what it used to be. The narrator states that Young Goodman becomes dark and distrustful (455) of all those around him and his religion to the end of his days. Thus, the symbolism here lies in how sin corrupts your faith, no matter how large or small it is.
for to thee is this world given” (Hawthorne 27). “But, where is Faith?”, asked Goodman Brown (Hawthorne 29). As hope came into his heart, he trembled when he found the pink ribbon of his wife, Faith, in the forest. At that moment, Goodman Brown lost his faith in his family and church members. Goodman becomes unforgiving of others and believes only evil can be created from evil and there is nothing that anyone can do to change it.
The village is a traditional Puritan background: pure, innocent, and god-fearing, which can also illustrate Brown’s conscious. Before entering the forest, Brown looks back at his wife. As described in the story, Brown sees his wife, Faith, peeping back at him with her pink ribbons blowing in her hair. The pink ribbons embody the safety, security, and refuge from sin Brown was leaving behind. Brown statement, "after this one night I’ll cling on to her skirts and follow her into heaven"(96), shows his guilty pride since he believes he can sin by virtue of his promise to himself.
He believed everyone was good and with thoughts of his loving wife, Faith, he avoided all evil. In Goodman’s eyes, Faith was the “purest soul.” Without realizing the bad intentions Goodman’s journey holds, he leaves home unable to tell Faith why. Goodman uses the excuse that he would “cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven" (Hawthorne) one he came home from his journey. While traveling through a dark forest, Goodman observed what was going on around him and could feel the fear within him. “What if the devil himself should be at my very elbow!” (Hawthorne) On his journey, Goodman meets a middle aged man, walking through a narrow path.
Puritans cling to faith blindly hoping they are the chosen ones entitled an entrance to heaven. The color pink, of the ribbon she wears, is a color associated with childhood innocence and purity. Young, innocent, and pure are all things Brown considers his wife to be at the beginning of the story. After we are introduced to the first characters Brown sets off into the forest where he will eventually learn the truth of things and in doing so lose his innocence. Once on his journey into the forest Hawthorne writes, "He had taken a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest, which barely stood aside to let the narrow path creep through, and closed immediately behind" (148).
Another reason I feel strongly to believe Chris McCandless was suicidal for going into the wild was because of his unreasonable thinking. Chris McCandless did not rationally think about this journey he was about to endure on and the people he would leave behind. He did not notify anyone not even his parents, which in my opinion was cruel and immature on his part. For instance, “ ‘ We were all worried when we didn’t hear from him,’” says Carine, “ ‘and I think my parents’ worry was mixed with hurt and anger’” (Krakauer 125). Chris made it to seem if he was also escaping his parents in order to do what he wanted to.
Neither does he know that Faith remained pure. And if she were corrupted, could she now things about Goodman Brown that he did not know himself. His confusion forces him to isolate himself emotionally and harden his heart, which is, after all, the worst sin of them all. "Young Goodman Brown" is a story of the obvious. The theme of the story is that every man harbors his own secret sin within his heart, which itself is quite obvious.
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.