David P. Reader
Professor Jessi Morton
10 December 2017
Young Goodman Brown: Losing Faith in Humanity from the Art of Deception
Since the beginning of time, there has always been day and night, evil and light. Throughout history, the basis of good versus evil has emanated. Good and evil has etched its place in every culture whether taught through passed down stories, depictions written on tablets, stones, or parchment paper. In the story, Young Goodman Brown, Hawthorne reveals the traveler as a figure that highlights one goal. Emphasis is placed on the traveler’s methodology as he employ’s several techniques to manipulate and deceive the vulnerabilities of Goodman Brown. Hawthorne carefully stresses the traveler’s demeanor, features, setting and communication methods in detail. What is Hawthorne trying to say about the intricate interaction between Goodman Brown and the traveler?
The traveler patiently awaits Young Goodman Brown as he always has, because the traveler is not governed by the same limitations as man. The traveler, being demonic, has a purposeful goal in mind: to kill, steal, and destroy while praying on Goodman Brown’s vulnerabilities to achieve his hidden agenda. The traveler’s skill in persuasion is hard to overcome as he comes across as normal, trustful and believable. Young Goodman Brown approaches with hesitation in the darkness as he seems haunted and reluctant making his way through the woods. Purposefully, The Traveler is cunning and is
Hawthorne and Jackson have set different tones for their stories. Nathaniel Hawthorne creates a tone that is somber and serious throughout most of the story of “Yong Goodman Brown”. The story tells of a man, Goodman Brown, discovering evil. Even though Goodman Brown has apprehension about going on the journey in the forest, he allows his curiosity to get the best of him and decides to attend the evil ceremony in the forest. The tone of the story corresponds with the action occurring in the plot as one of somberness. Brown goes along in his journey expecting something evil to take place. After learning the nature of evil, he begins to feel that he is constantly surrounded by evil. This changes his attitude from his background of piety and faith to a dark place that suspects evil in everything including his wife.
Goodman Brown seems to be a religious man that is becoming skeptical about his faith and the goodness in people. Nathaniel Hawthorne names his main character Goodman, which is a representative of the general good in all men and women. As Goodman Brown takes his journey through the forest he begins to lose his faith. Goodman Brown says “What a wretch am I to leave her on such an errand!” (Hawthorne 1) and when he tells his companion “having kept covenant by meeting thee here, it is my purpose now to return whence I came. I have scruples touching the matter thou wot’st of” (Hawthorne 3).
The man that Goodman Brown encountered on his journey symbolized the devil in the text which strongly influenced him to just about give up his faith in God. The Devil disguised as a “fellow traveler” (266) tried to influence Goodman Brown by
Conflict and symbolism in Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown”, Hawthorne in this story portrays these two elements that enhance the way the story is written. The story “Young Goodman Brown” first takes place in a small town with brown and his wife faith. Then in the story brown leaves faith to go in an adventure that he would later wish he hadn’t gone in. Brown takes a journey through part of the woods that are really scary and comes across the devil himself to later find out that faith was evil and that many from his town were also evil and had a secret evil organization or cult. Through the use of conflict and symbolism, Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” portrays what Brown’s journey represents.
As Brown starts on his adventure he recalls that his wife, Faith, had dreams of this particular adventure, dreams that warned him not to go; this feeling of uncertainty sparks a feeling of anxiety in Brown as he continues walking through the forest and on with his journey. As he walks on, the scenery around him begins to change, "He had taken a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest, which barely stood aside to let the narrow path creep through, and closed immediately behind." (310). This quote describes the dark and gloomy surroundings that Brown is walking through on his journey, it also creates the mood of fear and hesitance as he continues on his way. Then as Brown is walking along he comes to encounter a man dressed in grave and decent attire. The man states "You are late, Goodman Brown," and Brown replies by saying, "Faith kept me back awhile." (310) In literal terms he is speaking of his wife, but metaphorically he could be speaking of his faith in god and how it almost kept him from embarking on his journey. Hawthorne creates many metaphors in his story of "Young Goodman Brown." Later on in Brown's journey he meets a man with a cane that resembles a snake, the serpent is a symbol of evil, and then when Brown protests against the devil, "With heaven above, and Faith below, I will yet stand firm
In Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” although the decision to visit the devil was not one Goodman Brown following the crowd, he soon realized he had not been the only one tempted to visit the devil. Actually upon his meeting the devil, he realized that he did not want to continue his journey and wanted to return back home to his wife, Faith, but soon realized many of the townspeople were companions with satan. The themes of “Young Goodman Brown” are that religion or religious actions do not make someone righteous and although we have an appeal to live right, there is a small desire to try the “dark side”. Goodman Brown knew right from wrong growing up in the Puritan community, he also had individuals who would teach him the doctrine of his religion; however just like many people, Goodman Brown had to see what it would be like to travel into the wilderness and visit the devil. While Goodman Brown was on his way he begin to hear familiar voices and see familiar people—those who have taught him the “right” way of living. Of course since the wilderness was no place for a saint to be Goodman Brown would hide so that the others could not view him of being in error of the Christian faith. This is how the theme religion
Due to his naivety, Goodman Brown continues on his journey with the stranger, to spite what Faith and his instincts tell him, which ultimately turns him into a corrupted man. When the reader first meets Goodman Brown he is departing from his young wife, Faith. Faith urges young Goodman Brown to stay with her and not go on his journey but he refuses, assuring her that his journey is one of no real danger: "'A lone woman is troubled with such dreams and such thoughts, that she's afeared of herself, sometimes.' […] 'My journey, as thou callest it, forth and back again, must needs be done 'twixt now and sunrise'" (620). Faith tells Goodman Brown about nightmares she has been having and how she wishes that he will stay beside her. Goodman Brown ignores her warnings and continues on his journey as if it is just a trip to the grocery store. After meeting the stranger, Goodman Brown inquires about turning back but the stranger has other ideas in mind: "' Let us walk on, nevertheless, reasoning as we go, and if I convince thee not thou shalt turn back, We are but a little way in the forest yet.' 'Too far, too far!’ exclaimed the Goodman, unconsciously resuming his walk" (621). The stranger wants Goodman Brown to continue on his path, and even though young Goodman Brown desires to turn back towards Faith, he is easily swayed to keep walking with the stranger. Hawthorn says he "unconsciously" resumes his walk,
In "Young Goodman Brown," Nathaniel Hawthorne, through the use of deceptive imagery, creates a sense of uncertainty that illuminates the theme of man's inability to operate within a framework of moral absolutism. Within every man there is an innate difference between good and evil and Hawthorne's deliberate use of ambiguity mirrors this complexity of human nature. Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown, is misled by believing in the perfectibility of humanity and in the existence of moral absolutes. According to Nancy Bunge, Hawthorne naturally centers his story upon a Puritan protagonist to convey the "self-righteous" that he regards as the "antithesis of wisdom"(4). Consequently, Young
Young Goodman Brown became hysterical after his visit into his “forest” or id. He cannot accept that even with his pure good heart, there was such evil in his unconscious. So with every thought that he was taught wrong by his religion, he simply just repressed it into his id or unconscious minds. And after he explored his id, Brown realize he wasn’t as pure as he hoped he
Nathaniel Hawthorne constructs uncertainty throughout Young Goodman Brown by employing plot, point of view, and symbolism. For instance, the deception in plot occur as Young Goodman Brown traverses the threshold. Brown considers Faith to be pure and virtuous; a wicked act to leave such behind. Moreover, while conversing alongside the traveler Brown presumes the ethics of his ancestry and townspeople to be good due to high Faith in people. Brown’s perception shatters as the traveler discloses the sinful acts of the masses.
Goodman Brown represents every man, who has struck a universal bargain with Satan. Initially he is young, naïve, and immature and fails to understand the gravity of the step he has taken
In “Young Goodman Brown,” there is a fight between good and evil with one main character being torn between the two sides and every other character seemingly on one side or the other through the reader’s view, although many characters do deceive Goodman Brown about whether they are good or evil. This fight between the two sides and the deception that causes confusion for Goodman Brown is the source of tension throughout the entire story. In “Young Goodman Brown,” every character’s traits and dialogue, the setting, and even colors mentioned have double meanings and are symbolic to the main binary oppositions of either good or evil.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown," Hawthorne introduces Goodman Brown, who doubts himself and reiterates his false confidence to himself repeatedly. His struggle between the evil temptations, the devil, and the proper church abiding life, is a struggle he does not think he can handle. This story is about a man who challenges his faith in himself and in the community in which he resides. Goodman Brown must venture on a journey into the local forest, refuse the temptations of the devil, and return to the village before the sunrise.
Hawthorne relates his own experience to share the life of Brown, and he also uses internal conflict to explore Young Goodman Brown’s identity crisis. In the beginning there was a conflict between the husband and wife. There is a slight conflict between the husband and wife as Faith fears danger and does not want Young Goodman Brown to leave her during the night, and this causes the distance between them. It then escalates into a conflict between the good and evil in the world when Young Goodman Brown meets the devil in the forest.
Young Goodman Brown was a pure Christian that believed in everything good in God. Until, he went to the forest and spoke with the devil which changed his life forever. That meant that Goodman’s faith was weak and anything could’ve changed it. After his experience with the devil, his life was nothing but dark. He was never happy and didn’t trust anybody because he thought everyone was