Nathaniel Hawthrone's "Young Goodman Brown".

Essay by nooksutida July 2003

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Character Analysis

In Young Goodman Brown, there are many characters who had important roles in developing the story. The most important character is "Young Goodman Brown", whose name is the title of the story. This character is not only very interesting but also very confusing. When we first met him, he was a young man who seemed to be optimistic and good nature, but, at the end of the story, it is contrary.

His changes were developed by other characters. His beloved wife, Faith, influenced him the most. We can notice that he had never given up to the devil and still had strong faith in goodness until he knew the unacceptable truth that his wife was just like other villagers. Another person who had an influence on him is the old representing the devil himself. He tried, in every mean, to seduce Goodman to the dark side. The pious villagers and Goodman's ancestors appeared to support his thought that everyone was wicked.

What he reacted to other characters and the oppressive situations implied what kind of person this character was.

In the early half of the story, Young Goodman Brown was an innocent man who thought that everything was beautiful. He even thought of his wife as angel. It meant that he perceived only white colour. He could never accept that there are other colours beside white. Moreover, he so firmly believed in his religion's teaching and had very strong faith in it that he could not bear any mistake, and judged everything from his own religion's principle. This fact made him occasionally unreasonable. When the devil told him about his ancestors, he was astonished in a twinkling, then instantly denied the truth. Actually, he might more or less believe the devil but tried to refuse it. After he...