"Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Essay by xiaoxiaoyuxieCollege, Undergraduate July 2007

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Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "Young Goodman Brown" is a story that questions the very morals and ethics of a religious society. The main character young Goodman Brown has a lot of repressed feelings about the society after his mysterious trip. The name, Young Goodman Brown, has a meaning itself. "Young" stands for innocence and purity; "Goodman Brown" hints that the distrust in faith can happen to anyone, even a good man. Brown was still young, not mature enough to accept those repressed feelings. As a result, Young Goodman Brown believed that everything around him was evil, and lost his faith. His life ended in desperate loneliness and gloom.

When young Goodman Brown was about to go on an evil errand, his wife Faith tried to persuade him not to go. There was a sexual repression, which existed in Goodman. He recognized his wrong - doing in going to the meeting by leaving his "Poor little Faith".

However, Brown put his thoughts aside and continued out to the forest. In the forest, he met the devil and went deeper into the wood. After a short while, Goodman Brown didn't want to go any further. The resistance was shown when he said that he came from a race of good Christian, and none of his ancestors had ever gone so far into the wood. He was afraid of stepping out of tradition. However, the devil informed Goodman Brown about his father and grandfather's evil. He was so naïve that he never knew the truth.

Later on, young Goodman Brown saw Goody Cloyse who was his moral and spiritual adviser talking with the devil. His uncertainty about good and evil began to bother him that It seemed like everyone in the town was living a lie. By stating "What...