The Hero's Journey in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown Essay example

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The Hero's Journey in Young Goodman Brown

Faith is accepting what you are taught or told without trying to prove or disprove it, rather than discovering it through experience. Those who believe in God have faith. It has not been proven that God exists; similarly, it has not been proven that humans are kind, honest, and good by nature. Young Goodman Brown is a character in "Young Goodman Brown," who leaves his known world in Salem village and travels an unknown road in a dark forest in the middle of the night, a common motif in literature better known as the Hero's journey, and is faced with obstacles. He must decide if he will carry his journey out till the end, or turn back and not learn the truth about himself and other …show more content…

The threshold, or jumping off point for Brown, is when he has made his final decision to ignore his wife's pleas and take his journey. It is ironic when Faith finally lets him go and says, "Then God bless you! ...and may you find all well when you come back" (pg. 87). He is only gone one night and nothing substantial changes in Salem village while he is gone, but since he is so dramatically changed emotionally during his excursion, he remains sad and distrustful for the rest of his life, due to knowing the truth about human nature.

Young Goodman Brown must leave behind his known world, Salem village, and enter an unknown world, the forest, to face challenges he must be capable of overcoming. Allegorically, he embarks on a psychological and spiritual odyssey. Entering an unknown territory is scary and puts a person at a much higher physical and emotional risk. "There may be a devlish Indian behind every tree" shows how insecure Young Goodman Brown is in the forest because he is exposing himself to danger, which in this case, is evil itself (pg. 88). He must stay strong and overcome his weaknesses to get past his biggest fears and continue his Hero's journey. Goodman Brown is tempted to turn around and go home, but he sticks it out, and continues onward. Goodman Brown remarks, "What if the devil himself should be at my very elbow!" just before noticing a man, similar in appearance to himself, sitting under a tree (pg. 88). This man speaks as if he was expecting Brown

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