Young Goodman Brown

Essay by shayward5 December 2014

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Samantha Hayward


ENGL 1080

Prof. John Hoskins

October 9th, 2014

" The Transformation of Young Goodman Brown

" Young Goodman Brown, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a story of a man who undergoes a

transformation that changes his outlook on his beliefs, personal relationships and his childhood

innocence. This is a man who goes against his own beliefs only to discover that everything he

has known, is in fact a lie. It is never revealed if what Goodman Brown experienced that night

was real, or if it was all his imagination, but through this experience he starts to question the

people of his town, his wife, and even his own faith. With loss of his innocence, Goodman

Brown becomes a changed man, never fully trusting anyone again. At the start of the story the

author has developed a setting with characters and a community that symbolizes Goodman

Brown's religion, life and innocence. Although, after his journey the reader is lead to believe that

Goodman Brown has discovered the truth about evil in the world around him. Though

completely oblivious to it before, he is now able to see that evil lurks behind all the trusting faces

of his home.

Venturing into the woods that night was a choice made by Goodman Brown out of his

own curiosity. He knew that his quest had an evil purpose and although he hated to leave his

wife, he knew he had to go, even wanted to. He parts his wife with a kiss and tells her to say her


prayers before he leaves her for the night, and when he returns he will "cling to her skirts and

follow her to heaven" (190). This shows a shortcoming in Brown's religious faith. He has

already began to change his beliefs...