Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Young Goodman Brown

989 Words4 Pages
Olivia Kim
AP Literature
Short Fiction Essay
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1835 allegorical, short fiction “Young Goodman Brown,” innocent, young Puritan of Salem Village, young Goodman Brown willingly leaves his wife and religion Faith and enters the dark forest, where he experiences a radical encounter that alters his ways of life. Throughout this short story “Young Goodman Brown,” Hawthorne reveals man’s inherent nature to stray and sin, due to man’s corruption of morality. Human fallibility, even that of the religious, good, pure man, is inevitable in the world, where sin and darkness reign through the devil’s destructive temptations and accusations. Nathaniel Hawthorne incorporates countless archetypes, allegories, characterizations,
…show more content…
Along with character and color archetypes, Hawthorne also includes situational archetypes to convey the loss of innocence and the fall of man in “Young Goodman Brown.” The journey sparked by curiosity led to the encounter with the devil, which resulted in the fall of man and the battle between good and evil. Therefore, although young Goodman Brown entered the forest with only one intention of “meeting someone” and returning back to Faith, the devil does not easily let go of him. When Goodman Brown halts and tries to turn back towards Faith, the second traveller convinces him to continue and “they continued to walk onward…” This scene depicts the constant battle between good and evil, where the devil throws temptations and leads man astray from the good, pure, straight walk with the Lord.
As Goodman Brown is taken deeper into the forest by the second traveller, they encounter a circle of devil worshippers, from what it seems. Hawthorne uses imagery,epithets, and dialogue to express the consuming darkness. As Goodman Brown draws nearer toward the crowd, he sees and hears. “Welcome, my children,” says the dark figure, “to the communion of your race. Ye have found thus young your nature and your destiny. My children, look behind you!” Hawthorne includes chilling dialogue of the devil and describes the crowd of figures to be recognizable by Goodman Brown. “They turned; and flashing forth, as
Get Access