Losing Faith in Young Goodman Brown
In “Young Goodman Brown,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Goodman Brown is tempted by the evil that surrounds him and he must keep his faith in order to resist it. The use of the events, characters, and symbols throughout the story show that evil is present in the people of the town in which Goodman Brown lives and how Goodman Brown’s faith in them is lost. Humanity is basically flawed and people struggle with making the choice between good and evil.
Throughout the story, Goodman Brown is worried about the idea of the townspeople
finding out about his meeting with the devil. Goodman Brown thinks a lot about how his father and grandfather would have never done anything like he was doing. Goodman Brown says, “We have been a race of honest men and good Christians . . . ”(p1208.) Then Goodman Brown finds out from the devil that his father and grandfather had done evil things. The devil tells Goodman Brown, “I have been as well acquainted with your family as with ever a one among the puritans.”(P1208.) After Goodman Brown hears this, he begins to question his own faith and the faith of the people from his town. While Goodman Brown is walking with the devil through the woods, he starts seeing some of the respected towns people. The first person Goodman Brown sees is Goody Cloyse. He decides to hide in the woods in order not to be seen by her because he is afraid of what she might think of him talking with the devil. Goodman Brown tells the devil, “I shall take a cut through the woods until we have left this Christian woman behind.”(p1209.)
While Goodman Brown is hiding, he hears the devil and Goody Cloyse speaking. Goody Cloyse greats the devil and then tells him that her broomstick was stolen just as she was ready to perform some kind of spell. Goodman Brown is in complete shock by her words. He never thought that such a lady as Goody Cloyse would have been dealing with such evil. Goodman Brown later tells the devil, “What if a wretched old woman do choose to go to the devil when I thought she was going to heaven: is that any reason why I should quit my Faith and go after her?”(p1210.) Soon...