Good And Evil In Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

1276 Words6 Pages

The presence of good and evil can plague the mind, as people must come to grips with the reality of freedom of choice. In “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the main character and protagonist, Goodman Brown, goes through an experience where he realizes everyone must choose regularly between good and evil. Realizing that many people fail to follow a path of righteousness, Brown begins to question his own faith. Through a dream-like state, Goodman Brown is exposed to negative influences that challenge his Puritan beliefs and religious morals. Hawthorne uses specific language, metaphors, and vivid biblical allusions in the story that help demonstrate Brown’s struggle with accepting the fact that people he loved and trusted may have succumbed to evil. Hawthorne demonstrates three important elements as he tells the story of Goodman Brown, which include: Brown’s own internal struggle, his awareness of external conflicts, and then his reaction to the realization of the good and evil that surrounds him.
The first element of conflict experienced by Goodman Brown is the struggle he faces internally. The story begins with a vivid description of Brown …show more content…

With the new belief that people he loved and trusted had succumbed to evil, Goodman Brown’s faith was shaken. He returned home as a changed man, “Young Goodman Brown came slowly into the street of Salem Village, staring around him like a bewildered man” (Hawthorne 383). Faith burst into such joy at the sight of him and went to kiss her husband before the whole village, but “Goodman Brown looked sternly and sadly into her face, and passed on without a greeting” (Hawthorne 383). According to Hawthorne, it was a dream of evil omen for young Goodman Brown. “A stern, a sad, a darkly meditative, a distrustful, if not a desperate man, did he become, from a night of that fearful dream” was the unfortunate outcome for Brown (Hawthorne

Open Document