Young Goodman Brown Character Analysis

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Brown’s downfall is caused by his excessive pride. "Young Goodman Brown" is a story about a Puritan minister named Goodman Brown leaving his home to go meet with the devil, although neither he nor the audience knows it’s the devil yet. Throughout the events in the story, Goodman Brown’s pride is the main cause of the misery and suffering he goes through. In the beginning of the story, Goodman Brown is about to leave his home and his wife, Faith, to go on an errand. His wife begs him not to leave, for fear that she will sin if she is alone with her thoughts. He says “(my) love and (my) Faith…this one night I must tarry away from thee.” He is referring to Faith, meaning his wife, here, but it is also metaphorical for his faith in God. He is leaving his faith in God just for the night (supposedly). He is leaving his faith with his wife, Faith, when he goes to meet the devil in the woods. He promises to "cling to her skirts and follow her to Heaven." His pride is shown here, because he thinks he can meet the devil and will only sin for the night just because he made that promise. This is also ironic because when he returns home the next morning, he is unable to see his wife in the same way as before. Upon meeting the devil, Goodman Brown is late and says it’s because “Faith kept me back awhile.” Goodman Brown is talking about his wife, Faith, who physically held him back, but he is also talking about his faith in God psychologically holding him back. One clue that tells the
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