"Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne Evilness vs. Goodness

Essay by ghostkissHigh School, 11th grade October 2004

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The world is mainly made up of two opposing forces: evilness and goodness. When there are some places where people are experiencing the evilness of murders, wars, or inequality of the society, there are always other places where are living with hope, happiness, and goodness from others. The existence of evilness is indeed disadvantageous toward human nature because it might cuase people to harm the people around them for the sake of their own selfishness. However, goodness can make people think and act positively to one another, and thereby brings righteous conscience and morality to the society. Evilness and goodness are omnipresent, yet the evilness will not exist in the society forever as long as there is goodness acting as an opposing force to restrict the spread of evil. As a result, the short story "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne shows that people are born to be good, and therefore one's goodness helps to stop the spread of one's evilness.

In the story "Young Goodman Brown", Goodman Brown experiences the evil of human nature during a trip to the forest wil a devil. The devil shows Goodman Brown that even though his grandfather and father are puritans, they have committed wickedness in the past. Puritans are groups of religious people that have traveled from England to America in hopes of establishing an ideal society with their high morality and religious faith. However, their distrust towards other people, or things other than the Puritans themselves, has made them become prejudiced against others. Eventually, they commit evil toward those they prejudice. For example, Goodman Brown's grandfather has "lashed the Quaker woman so smartly through the streets of Salem"(271) because the woman has done something that he believes to be blasphemous and thus abruptly considers it as evil witchcraft. In...