The point in Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" when Brown proclaims "My Faith is gone!" marks the crisis point of the story. Brown's faith in God completely disappears here. This point eventually leads Brown to distrust everyone that he knows and sends his life into a downward spiral of despair and fear. Even though Brown's experience in the forest changes him, this change is only on the surface, and deep down Brown is still the same man he was before.
Goodman Brown in the short story “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne goes on a journey into the woods to meet a stranger which ultimately changes his life. His blind faith in his religion makes him believe that all people are good. Goodman Brown is a trusting, naive man in the beginning if the story but witnesses a witch ceremony that changes his personality drastically. Seeing his family and his neighbors taking part in the sinful act changes his outlook on life and his outlook on their personalities as well. Brown’s blind faith in people and his naivety make the shock of what he sees in the woods turn him into an untrusting, paranoid man.
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.
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.
Intro: “We have been a race of honest men and good Christians…”(Hawthorne, pg. 388). In Salem, Massachusetts evil was found everywhere; therefore, many good Puritans fell through the evil of witchcraft. This concept is found in the short story of “Young Goodman Brown”, where the readers are introduced to a innocent and pure couple who are all about religion and against any evil worshippers. Faith and Goodman Brown will face a diabolic journey to hell, and fight against the will of evil which is nearly impossible for everyone in town has walked through sin.I am writing about Young Goodman Brown because I am trying to show you how Hawthorne relies on Faith, the old man, and young Goodman Brown to illustrate the evil in nature.
The weakness of public moral is apparent in young Goodman brown in this part of the story “But, irreverently consorting with these grave, reputable, and pious people, these elders of the church, these chaste dames and dewy virgins, there were men of dissolute lives and women of spotted fame, wretches give... ... middle of paper ... ...d to the limit of comprehension, Goodman Brown stumbles onto the polluted core of his true self and disavows it, withdrawing into himself to become "a stern, a sad, a darkly meditative, a distrustful, if not desperate man." When he dies, nobody grieves. Gen e, Randy. "Into the Woods with the Devil." American Theatre Apr.
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.
The story does not state that this man is the devil, though it is assumed; “it is doubtful that he recognized Satan at first, but he knew that his journey was an evil one, and his conscience hurt him because of his disloyalty to Faith.” (McKeithan 2). This companion walks Young Goodman Brown through the forest where they come across many figures from Brown’s past and present religious circles. They find Deacon Gookin, the town minister, and Goody Cloyse, “a very pious and exemplary dame…and was still his moral and spiritual adviser,” (Hawthorne 3). Later, Young Goodman Brown tells the traveler “‘That old woman taught me my catechism’… and there was a world of meaning in this simple comment.” (Hawthorne 4). The reader can almost hear the disappointment and despair when Brown realizes that his mentor is in the evil forest, just as he is.
The devil tries to convince Goodman Brown to continue down the path with him, but Goodman Brown declares that he kept his meeting with the devil and no longer wishes to continue on. He says, “ ‘My father never went into the woods on such an errand, nor his father before him. We have been a race of honest men and good Christians’ ” (312). The devil is quick to point out, however, that it was he that was with Brown’s father and grandfather when they “set fire to an Indian village” and “lashed the Quaker women” (312). These acts show that he does not come from a family of "good Christians" (312).
Bereft of the capability to see the truth, the townspeople’s holy opinions of Dimmesdale obscure their views. In immeasurable helplessness, Dimmesdale dreams of revealing himself as “…the worst of sinners, an abomination, a thing of unimaginable inequity…” (132). Specifically, Hawthorne’s presentation of Dimmesdale’s thoughts showcases the reverend’s self-hatred and guilt. Even as Dimmesdale tries to express that he does not embody a saint, the people of Boston only become fonder of him. Overall,