Young Goodman Brown Essay

1048 Words5 Pages
The main theme of the Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, “ Young Goodman Brown,” is the struggle between Goodman Brown’s faith, power to resist his own evil impulses and his own doubts within him. It is a story of Young Goodman Brown’s personal conflict over his inner desires and its greater meaning conflict between good and evil in the world. The characteristics of Young Goodman Brown are similar to the life of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Nathaniel Hawthorne had his own doubts about his own Puritan life and beliefs. There are numerous examples in this story whereby Hawthorne clearly demonstrates to the reader Goodman Brown’s personal internal conflict between good and evil.
Hawthorne’s knowledge of the historical background of Puritanism combined with the
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Upon entering the forest Goodman Brown is suspicious of every rock and tree, thinking something evil will jump out at him. When he finally does meet someone on the trail, who appears to be of evil origin, he feels confident that he can refuse any temptations. This evil person makes several advances and Goodman refuses. At first Goodman feels confident that he can resist any temptation that the devils throws upon him. Hawthorne describes how closely the devil resembles Goodman. Hawthorne describes them as though they “might have been mistaken for father and son.” The devil resembles him in order to make Goodman feel more comfortable around him. It makes it easier to tell lies and deceive Young Goodman Brown into coming with him to the witch gathering.
Goodman Brown discusses his self-doubt after incidences such as his discovery of the ‘true nature’ of his community within the forest. Brown thinks that he recognizes voices of his minister, deacon, and of his wife, but can't be certain since their figures are not visible. He thinks that everyone in his community is participating in satanic acts. When he sees this it destroys any faith he might of had in the community or himself, he appears to give up faith completely. Brown’s reluctance to take the Devil’s “snake-like staff” also illustrates his uncertainties and defiance in becoming one of the Devil’s chosen. Even the setting of the winding, long journey through the woods demonstrates indecision and conflict, as
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