Young Goodman Brown's Transformation

1077 Words5 Pages
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. Young Goodman Brown goes from being overly trusting to becoming a paranoid, untrusting man. Once Goodman Brown arrives at the destination and walks with the stranger, they start talking about Goodman Brown's family and how they had traveled down the very same road he is now, however Goodman Brown refuses to believe the traveler: “‘I marvel they never spoke of these matters. Or, verily, I marvel not, […] We are people of prayer” (621). Goodman Brown says he “marvels” at what the stranger has said and insists that his family is a family of prayer and holiness. He later says that he “marvels not’ expressing his disbelief ion the strangers statement. Young Goodman Brown's faith in his religion and that his family are loyal to his religion lead Goodman Brown to believe that they can do no wrong. He has this same reaction when he sees the minister and deacon of his village in the woods, discussing the meeting they are going to: “'besides several Indian powows, who, after their fashion, know almost as much deviltry as the best of us’ […] Young Goodman Brown caught hold of a tree for suppo... ... middle of paper ... the woods transforms him from an overly trusting, naïve man into a cynical, and corrupted man. Before his life changing journey, goodman Brown is unknowing of all the sin that goes on around him. He believes that everyone he knows is perfect and without sin. This changes when he takes a trip through the forest. His eyes are opened in a sense, but maybe too wide. Goodman Brown becomes paranoid about everyone in the village including his wife, Faith. He also becomes corrupted and unable to focus on his religious activities that he has always done before. Fundamentally, faith is something that Brown gave away freely to anyone but, rather, should be given moderately. Works Cited Hawthorn, Nathaniel. "Young Goodman Brown" The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Vol. I. Shorter Seventh Edition. Ed. Nina Baym. New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 2008. 620-629. Print.
Open Document