Transcendentalism In Young Goodman Brown

711 Words3 Pages
In “Young Goodman Brown”, Hawthorne demonstrates common inter turmoil, especially in regard to spiritual state. In an attempt to discover himself and satisfy his innermost being, Young Goodman Brown becomes a shattered, shell of a man. The question at hand is not religion, nor is it purely spiritual, Hawthorne simply encourages his reader to search themselves with the understanding and realization that once searched, the readers may not like what they find. Hawthorne himself seems to struggle with this reality as he straddled his Puritan upbringing and transcendentalist revelations, as expressed through Young Goodman Brown’s realization of the hypocrisy of the Puritan with whom he resides. Hawthorne shows the potential horror of man to his readers as hidden evil inside of man. As Hawthorne develops his story, the reader is challenged by the nature of man, and what the reader wants the nature of man to be, which Hawthorne understands to be sinful. The traveling companion, the third character introduced to the reader, is a symbol of the inner demon residing within Young Goodman Brown. The companion was waiting for Young Goodman Brown, and “apparently in the same rank of life as Goodman Brown, and bearing a considerable resemblance to him, though perhaps more in expression than features” (2). The readers see that the traveling companion is a reflection of Goodman Brown because he looks like Goodman Brown, but the air of the former reflects a tantalizing knowledge to
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