A Fallible Man Essay

1052 words - 4 pages

Crysel M. GarciaPam FoxEnglish 1302-0194 March 2013A Fallible ManA Character Analysis of Young Goodman BrownIn the story of "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the character of Goodman Brown is presented as an average Joe- respectively by today's terms. Goodman Brown's story is set in a New England state in the late 17th century where he begins the story as an honest, loving husband with profound resolve for life, his Puritan beliefs, humanity, and his sweet beautiful wife Faith. In Goodman Brown's efforts to make life comfortable for Faith and himself, Goodman Brown consorts with the Devil to ensure a prosperous future for them both. However, this decision weighs heavy on the conscience of Young Goodman Brown during the course of his journey through forest as he struggles to convince himself to remain a decent man. Hawthorne uses this journey through the forest as a metaphorical life journey in which Puritan values can easily be corrupted. Furthermore, Hawthorne explores the hypocrisy in religion as Young Goodman Brown's forefathers, prominent figures and ultimately his lovely wife Faith all fall short of grace. Alas, all hope in humanity and anything that is deemed good is completely shattered when Goodman Brown witnesses his precious Faith at the Black Mass. Whether these events in the forest are real or simply just a horrific nightmare, the truth becomes irrelevant as Goodman Brown struggles with his own corruptibility as well as society's where he began his journey as a lighthearted trusting family man to a sad, miserable and pessimistic man for the entirety of his life.As Goodman Brown "keeps his covenant" (320) to meet with the Devil in the depths of the forest, he begins to examine himself internally in comparison to his forefathers, all the while convincing himself that he can actually escape this ordeal unscathed and without further consequences. Goodman Brown believes that he is the first of any Brown to be involved with the likes of the Devil. A cascade of thoughts began to pour into Goodman Brown's mind about the legacy exemplified by the Brown name, which depicted them as men of true Puritan convictions. Brown soon persuades himself to believe that he will undoubtedly be one to tarnish their "good Christian name" (320) should anyone be made aware of his sinister engagement with his unholiness. Soon after, the Devil assures Goodman Brown that he is actually "well acquainted with many of his family members" (320) as he proceeds to provide him with several specific instances where he assisted them in their evil affairs. Armed with this new found knowledge yet not fully convinced of its validity, Goodman Brown's curiosity is spontaneously ignited to a point where an alliance with the Devil unquestionably more conceivable.The Devil continues to boast about all of the influential and prominent figures that he has communed with, beginning with Goodman Brown's deacon up to the governor of the state. Goodman Brown is clearly...

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