Hawthorne 's Young Goodman Brown

1508 WordsMay 9, 20177 Pages
In the short story, "Young Goodman Brown," by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Goodman Brown takes a walk in the woods, and after conversing with "the devil," he falls asleep. He is confronted with a dream of wickedness involving many people from his church congregation and daily life. Brown struggles with turning his back on his faith and everyone he knows and cherishes. The Misfit, from "A Good Man is Hard to Find," understands the struggles Brown is experiencing as he endures his own questions of faith and Jesus while talking with the grandmother. In the midst of Brown 's dream, he witnesses what seems to be his wife 's death and that pain from her death overtakes him as guilt because he promises her safety while he is gone. The author signifies…show more content…
These two characters amplify the sense of guilt Young Goodman Brown and the Misfit undergo. They both are begging for life and are trying to compel the men to change their current course, which then forces the men to question their choices. For the Misfit, the grandmother’s constant questions and consistent “pray, pray, pray” phrase causes him to reevaluate his life choices and provoke guilt for having to kill her (O’Connor 1295). The Misfit understands his guilt when “his voice seemed about to crack” before the old lady lives her moment of clarity, and then she furthered the Misfit’s sense of guilt by exclaiming that he was one of her “own children” (1295). However, Brown senses his full round of guilt a little differently. After Brown leaves Faith alone, he concocts a solution to his problems for the future. He will “cling to her skirts and follow her to Heaven” (Hawthorne #). The main character believes he can finish his crooked deed and use his wife as a crutch to have eternal life in heaven. He believes in her faith and hope so much; he refers to her as a “blessed angel on earth,” and he understands how hurt his wife will be if she realizes his true mission. This thought alone causes a twinge of guilt in Goodman Brown’s conscience. He recognizes the piety of his wife and that he is breaking the one rule that will break her, almost “kill her,” but he continues
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