Human beings have an inherent desire for the companionship that is accessory to the state of conspiracy. Human beings are social creatures. We desire and need human contact. The popularity of the Kairos retreat is an example of the appeal of brotherhood and secrecy. The appeal of underground cults, such as Satan worship or Freemasonry lies in the occult sharing of secrecy. The society described by Mr. Hawthorne certainly fits this category. Goodman Brown is described as feeling a "loathsome brotherhood" with the gathered cultists. (108) The presider promises that the catechumens will gain knowledge of the "secret deeds" of their fellow townsmen. (108) It is significant to note that all of the people whom Goodman Brown admired are included in the diabolica...
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... character synthesizes this theme eloquently, explaining the "sympathy of your human hearts for sin." (109) "Evil is the nature of mankind," explains the fiend. (109) The final element that explains the appeal of Satan worship become clear as the supposed darkness of man's own soul is revealed.
The attraction of Satan worship can be seen as the derivative of basic evil in the human condition, the desire for rebellion and the desire for conspiracy. Since these aspects apply equally to all of the characters in the story, it logically follows that none of the members of society at large are unaffected. It appears that this seemingly isolated occurrence of Satanism is a condition of the human existence: perhaps the yan to a Christian yin. In that case, there is nowhere to hide from the all-pervasive influence of evil, not even within the confines of the human mind.
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