Young Goodman Brown Looses Faith In The Woods

Good Essays

Young Goodman Brown Looses Faith in The Woods

In the story "Young Goodman Brown," written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the author introduces evil images to tempt and delude Young Goodman Brown as he made his way through the woods. Goodman Brown, by the end of his journey, understands there is an evil side to human nature and believes that man is doomed by "original sin."

The main character, Goodman Brown is introduced as a well-mannered man who is happily married to Faith. Initially, the language such as "sunset" and "pink ribbons" symbolizes light and a positive environment in Salem Village, where the story takes place. Then, as Goodman Brown journeys through the woods, changes in the environment make him change the way in …show more content…

This change is noticed after the apparition of the old man seated at the foot of an old tree. Apparently, the old man and the main character can have be taken as father and son; but there is something significant about this 50 year old man, his staff: "...which bore the likeness of a great black snake, so curiously wrought that it might almost be seen to twist and wriggle itself like a living serpent" (p. 62). The language suggests nothing good can come from a 50 year old man walking alone at night in the woods carrying such a staff. In fact, the old man represents the devil or evil spirit that encourages Goodman Brown, who is already hesitant, to continue his journey through the woods. "Let us walk on, nevertheless, reasoning as we go; and if I convince thee not thou shalt turn back" (p. 63).

As they walked, the old man continues to introduce Goodman Brown to the negative side of the world by showing him that humans can also be evil.

I helped your grandfather, the constable, when he lashed the Quaker

woman so smartly through the streets of Salem; and it was I that brought

your father a pitch-pine knot, kindled at my own hearth, to set fire to an

Indian village, in King Philips war (p. 63).

This suggests that his father and grandfather had an evil side to them, which made him understand that no matter how good a person may be, there is always an

Get Access