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A Look At Young Goodman Brown

1004 words - 5 pages

Nathaniel Hawthorne's famous Young Goodman Brown is one of the most interesting, yet creepy short stories written. Within this beautifully structured story of the 19th century, is a man whose curiosity started the fight between good and evil inside each individual human being. In addition, the story tells the tragic relationship between the main character Young Goodman, and his young wife. Throughout the story, Goodman's character development is affected by the experiences he goes through. At the beginning, Goodman is a good young man with faith in everyone's "pure intentions." He innocently believes in the good in everyone, but towards the end of the story, he's view on the world changes. He ends up having a dark perspective and finds himself unable to trust those around him.
Young Goodman Brown was a sweet, innocent individual who lived his life carefree. He believed everyone was good and with thoughts of his loving wife, Faith, he avoided all evil. In Goodman’s eyes, Faith was the “purest soul.” Without realizing the bad intentions Goodman’s journey holds, he leaves home unable to tell Faith why. Goodman uses the excuse that he would “cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven" (Hawthorne) one he came home from his journey. While traveling through a dark forest, Goodman observed what was going on around him and could feel the fear within him. “What if the devil himself should be at my very elbow!” (Hawthorne) On his journey, Goodman meets a middle aged man, walking through a narrow path. After a greeting, they decided to continue the journey through the forest. The middle aged man wore plain attire and carried a staff shaped similar to a realistic serpent, which moved. The middle aged man begins to talk about Goodman’s ancestors and their sins, but Goodman doesn’t believe a word of it. He refused to accept the idea that his ancestors were evil. This was the first part of Goodman’s journey, when his faith in seeing the good in people began to fade away. Everything the man said began to push Goodman past where he wanted to be and the temptation to join the old man overwhelmed him. Goodman tried to keep the good within him by reminiscing on his loving wife.
As Goodman and the man adventured through the dark forest, they could see a feminine figure slowly appearing in front of them. Goodman started recognizing the familiar figure, Goody Cloyse. She taught him catechism, the study of principles of the Christian religion, when he was little. Not wanting her to misunderstand his intentions for being in the forest, he tries to stray away from the man. After listening into their conversation, Goodman is shocked to realize Goody knows such a bad person, especially with everything she has taught Goodman. Feeling tired, Goodman takes a break, and tries to keep...

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