Young Goodman Brown is a short story written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. In Young Goodman Brown, Young Goodman goes into the forest with a “grave and prayerful” expression on his face. Young Goodman meets a mysterious stranger in the woods who Young Goodman knows to be the Devil. After Young Goodman witnesses several people, including his own wife, join the stranger in the woods Young Goodman becomes disillusioned with the people of his town.
Young Goodman returns home at daybreak and his wife asks him where he has been all night; Young Goodman tells her that he has spent the night in the forest, but Young Goodman’s answer is not enough for Young Goodman’s wife who pressures Young Goodman to tell her what Young Goodman has done in the forest. Young Goodman’s answer is, “‘Nothing that I will confess…people say that evil communications corrupt good manners. Come, dear wife, let us go home…and a God Almighty bless you! ” Young Goodman Brown ends with Young Goodman and his wife going home.
Young Goodman Brown can be summarized as Young Goodman’s journey into the forest and Young Goodman’s return home; Young Goodman spends the night in the forest, but Young Goodman does not tell his wife where he was all night and Young Goodman returns home at daybreak and his wife pressures him for information on Young Goodman’s whereabouts all night, but Young Goodman only tells her that Young Goodman will not confess to anything because people say that evil communications corrupt good manners.
Young Goodman Brown is a prime example of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s belief in puritanical virtues such as honesty, piety , and humility . The theme of “young goodman brown” is that one should be honest about what they done in their life, Young Goodman Brown believes that he is “right with god” because Young Goodman has been a very good person in Young Goodman’s life.
The people of Young Goodman’s town have been doing evil deeds and Young Goodman is greatly disturbed by this, so Young Goodman goes into the forest to find out if others in Young Goodman’s town are also doing evil deeds. When Young Goodman goes into the forest, Nathaniel Hawthorne describes Young Goodman as being “grave and prayerful” because Young Goodman takes his faith seriously. The Devil appears before Young Goodman; there is nothing “fearfully fiendish or abnormally hideous about him” the Devil only wears clothes like other citizens in Young Goodman’s town.
Young Goodman devises a plan to trap the Devil and Young Goodman accuses the Devil of being a liar because Young Goodman has been “cheated by false appearances, all his life” Young Goodman challenges the Devil to show Young Goodman his true form so that Young Goodman can see who Young Goodman is actually dealing with, but Young Goodman does not get the answer he wants from the Devil instead Young Goodman looks over and sees people that Young Goodman knew meeting in secret to do evil deeds.
The theme is that you should be honest about your actions no matter what, even if it jeopardizes your safety or happiness; Nathaniel Hawthorne uses his short story young goodman brown as an example of how one should act morally respectable even in the face of adversity . Young Goodman Brown acts faithfully towards god and Young Goodman’s town, but Young Goodman is troubled by his community because people in Young Goodman’s town are doing terrible deeds at night. In Young Goodman Brown Nathaniel Hawthorne uses symbolism to tell a story about how “evil communications corrupt good manners. ”
In Young Goodman Brown’s opinion, the path he took was a “little crooked” and it seemed to him that somebody kept calling out his name secretly while he walked. These bad omens made Young Goodman Brown feel uneasy on this journey. As Young Goodman Brown continues walking through the woods with a friend of his, Faith, Young Goodman Brown makes conversation by asking Faith ““Have you ever noticed in me any lawless tendency?”
Young Goodman Brown is asking Faith if she thinks he has evil thoughts or ideas or intentions. Young Goodman Brown notices that there seems to be someone following them through the forest but when Young Goodman Brown turns around to see who is following them there is nothing there. When they finally get to their destination Young Goodman Brown and Faith look at Young Goodman Brown’s wife, Young Goodman Brown notices that his eyes are red and Young Goodman Brown really feels like Young Goodman has been betrayed. Young Goodman Brown does not know how much Young Goodmans betrayal will affect Young Goodman Browns life even more in the future.
”Young Goodman Brown knows that he is not going to a wedding, but deep down Young Goodman Brown feels like his actions will be rewarded in the end. Young Goodman Brown feels like this is an important job and Young Goodman Brown has to do it, even though Young Goodman Brown does not know what the outcome will be.
The forest also symbolizes evil because of all the people Young Goodman Brown meets along the way, who are blackened figures with hidden identities. The people Young Goodman brown meets all seem very shady and they seem like they could possible be evil characters that might harm Young Goodman Brown. This makes Young Goodman Browne feel even more uneasy about his journey into the forest.
At one point when Young Goodman Browne reaches an iron gate guarded by a black dog Young Goodman Brown says the following: “There sat the figure of what had been a man, upon the only visible seat, an enormous black throne. The shape was perfect; nor was there any sign that it had ever been living.” Young Goodman Browne is surprised when he sees this guard and Young Goodman Brown becomes very scared when Young Goodman Brown sees this guard in front of the gate to hell.
Young Goodman Brown and Young Goodman Browne continue on their journey into hell and Young Goodman Brown gets more and more suspicious about his friends who are coming along with him. Young Goodman Brown also gets suspicious about where they will be going because Young Goodman Browne has not really revealed anything yet to Young Goodmaa brown except for Young Goodman Browne says Young Goodo man brown will know where Young Goodman Brown and Young Goodman Brown’s friends are going.
Young Goodman Browne continues on with Young Goodman Brown’s journey into hell and Young Goodman Browne finally reveals that they will be going to a witches meeting: “Where we shall meet with all our foes in one crowd, and perhaps, with Betty Flanagan as chief of them! That’s a witch I would rather not meet… The heads of the church have long been clearing the way for such a meeting as this, and it will come off as soon as Easter day is over. We must not let her escape! After her, boys!