Internal Conflict of Goodman Brown in Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Internal Conflict of Goodman Brown in Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Length: 1964 words (5.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Internal Conflict of Goodman Brown in Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne


The story of ?Young Goodman Brown? exemplifies the struggle of one man?s internal conflict of good and evil. The main character, Goodman Brown, leaves Salem village and his wife, Faith, to travel into the depths of the dark forest. The Young Goodman Brown will be aged with the knowledge he faces in this one night. Brown keeps his appointment with the devil in the forest, and he must choose to go back to his ?faith,? or explore the evils that the devil has to offer. Next, Brown is confronted with the virtuous people who live in his community, who will be attending the witch?s meeting with the devil. He has to decide if he will follow them along this path. Brown struggles to see if his wife is at the witch?s meeting, as he stands at the edge of the forest watching everyone he knows worshiping the devil. He must choose whether he will adjust his moral standings and join his group, or keep his original morals. He is led by Faith into this situation of evil. He and Faith are brought to the altar before the devil to be baptized into Brown?s self- created hell, a world of secrets in the human soul. Brown must choose to either look up to heaven and have faith in God, or doubt his own spirituality and follow others into hell.

Goodman Brown leaves his wife, Faith, and Salem village in the daytime to keep his appointment with the devil, and he ventures into the forest without his ?faith.? This is a moment of irrationality because he leaves his wife, home, and security to take a dangerous and unknown path. He doesn?t want Faith to find out the evil intention of his errand because he says, ?she?s a blessed angel on earth; and after this one...


... middle of paper ...


...s, and that frightens him more than anything else. His inability to judge between good and evil also prevents him from cuddling or accepting ?faith,? and interacting with the other townspeople. He lived a long miserable life and died with ?no hopeful verse upon his tombstone, for his dying hour was gloom?(319). His death was gloom because he didn?t know where he was going to end up, above or below his deathbed. Brown?s moral and social isolation is the worst possible evil that a man can ever have happen to him. If he would have looked at the evils in mankind, he could?ve recognized the good in people. That was the full intention of the dream, but he failed the test miserably.

Works Cited:

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. "Young Goodman Brown." 1835. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Paul Lauter et al. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. Lexington: Heath, 1944. 2129-38.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Internal Conflict of Goodman Brown in Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne

- Internal Conflict of Goodman Brown in Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne The story of ?Young Goodman Brown. exemplifies the struggle of one man?s internal conflict of good and evil. The main character, Goodman Brown, leaves Salem village and his wife, Faith, to travel into the depths of the dark forest. The Young Goodman Brown will be aged with the knowledge he faces in this one night. Brown keeps his appointment with the devil in the forest, and he must choose to go back to his ?faith,....   [tags: Papers Goodman Brown Hawthorne Essays]

Powerful Essays
1964 words (5.6 pages)

Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Young Goodman Brown Essay

- Symbolism in “Young Goodman Brown” In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “Young Goodman Brown” Hawthorne conveys to readers a seemingly highly religious Puritan town. However, this town appears to be holding a devious truth. Throughout his work Hawthorne utilizes symbolism to convey the corrupt and evil truth behind the otherwise highly religious Puritan town. Through his main symbol usage of Faith’s pink ribbons, Faith’s name and appearances throughout the story, and the woods in which the story is set, readers see the façade slowly fade through the story and reveal the truth about the town....   [tags: Young Goodman Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Powerful Essays
1356 words (3.9 pages)

Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Young Goodman Brown Essay

- The genre of a story can’t truly be known without the proper setting. The setting and a storyline tie together creating the perfect background for characters to truly live their roles. In “Young Goodman Brown”, Goodman Brown is faced with the conflict of giving in to true evil or remaining pure. The setting; a dark, mystical and haunting place connects perfectly with the idea of Brown being faced with taunting devil-like temptations. Hawthorne’s short story would be incomplete without this kind of geographical location, proving that setting does infact provide significance for a storyline....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown]

Powerful Essays
729 words (2.1 pages)

Analysis Of Nathaniel Hawthorne 's `` Young Goodman Brown `` And `` Masque Of The Red Death ``

- 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....   [tags: Young Goodman Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Powerful Essays
1898 words (5.4 pages)

Essay on The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

- People are not as black and white as they often appear to be. Take Arthur Dimmesdale for an example. He is often viewed as a well-respected reverend and an educated young man who immigrated from Europe. Although the Puritan community looks up to him, the author Nathaniel Hawthorne, portrays Dimmesdale as a fragile being in the Scarlet Letter. Hawthorne describes Dimmesdale as a man with internal conflicts due to keeping his sin a secret from the world. This causes him to inflict self-punishment, which later leads to his paranoia and deteriorating health....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Powerful Essays
1063 words (3 pages)

Essay on The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

- The Scarlet Letter Essay “To the untrue man, the whole universe is false,--it is impalpable,--it shrinks to nothing within his grasp. And he himself, in so far as he shows himself in a false light, becomes a shadow, or, indeed, ceases to exist.” (Hawthorne 115) Throughout the hostile novel The Scarlet Letter, author Nathaniel Hawthorne used contrasting settings to represent opposed ideas that were central to the meaning of the work. Some have argued that when it came to the theme that secrets have a destructive effect on the secret-keeper and truth, by contrast, was natural, a character evaluation would best advocate these differences....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter]

Powerful Essays
1310 words (3.7 pages)

Essay on The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

- Opposition is prominent in literature and is often used to portray ideas that are completely different from each other. Such opposition can even be used to enforce both duality and paradoxical tones in a novel. In “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, he also uses this duality to describe the relationship between the two main male characters. Hawthorne focuses on the public and private lives of Dimmesdale and Chillingworth, and the paradoxical connection that they share. Dimmesdale, the town’s most loved preacher and most eligible bachelor, hides behind this mask of good by also being wrought by the guilt of being an adulterer....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Powerful Essays
1412 words (4 pages)

Essay about The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

- The Puritan society was extremely restricting. They had strict laws and rules, and harsh punishments for even the smallest of misdemeanors. They lived with only the bare necessities and discouraged uniqueness or boldness. As a Romantic writer, with beliefs the complete opposite of the Puritans, Nathaniel Hawthorne was very critical of the Puritan’s strict society. In the allegorical novel The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses the characters of Hester Prynne, Reverend Dimmesdale, and Roger Chillingworth order to convey the central moral of rejecting societal ideals and acting upon one 's own desires and emotions....   [tags: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Powerful Essays
1476 words (4.2 pages)

The Scarlet Letter, By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay example

- Nathaniel Hawthorne’s family background greatly influences the themes and central conflicts within many of his works. Growing up, Hawthorne learned of his ancestors’ lifestyle and their devotion to the Puritan religion. The constricting and harsh values of the religion troubled Hawthorne, and his guilt for his ancestors’ way of life translates into his literature. Hawthorne’s use of the theme of religious hypocrisy impacts the characterization and in turn the plot of many of his works, including The Scarlet Letter, The Minister’s Black Veil, and Young Goodman Brown....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter, Puritan]

Powerful Essays
950 words (2.7 pages)

External and Internal Conflict in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown Essay

- External and Internal Conflict in “Young Goodman Brown”           Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “Young Goodman Brown” manifests a duality of conflict – both an external conflict and an internal conflict. It is the purpose of this essay to explore both types of conflict as manifested in the story.   In the opening lines of the tale there is a compulsion, representing internal conflict, indicated on the part of both the protagonist and his wife Faith:   "Dearest heart," whispered she, softly and rather sadly, when her lips were close to his ear, "pr'ythee, put off your journey until sunrise, and sleep in your own bed tonight....   [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]

Powerful Essays
1546 words (4.4 pages)