Goodman Brown Evil

714 Words3 Pages

Kimberly Osterberg
20 November 2015
English 100
Professor Suarez

Young Goodman Brown: Good vs. Evil

In the short story “Young Goodman Brown”, author Nathaniel Hawthorne, probes the psychology of Puritan Salem's witchcraft frenzy to offer insights into the moral complexity of human nature, good vs. evil. The main character in this story is Goodman Brown, a good upstanding Puritan man who lived in Salem Village during the Salem Witch Trials in 1692. After emerging from the woods one dark night, he comes out a broken, sad, stern, darkly meditative, distrustful, if not desperate man. He is changed forever. But he had every right to feel that way. Who wouldn’t, after seeing and hearing what he saw that night. Everyone he loved and knew …show more content…

More than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft—the Devil's magic—and 20 were executed (Blumberg). It was a very uneasy time in early colonial America during this time where paranoia was at an all-time high. The author of “Young Goodman Brown”, Nathanial Hawthorne, depicts the mass hysteria of the era by casting the entire village of Salem as devil worshipers (Modugno). Hawthorne’s own great-great grand-father, John Hawthorne was one of three judges that presided over the Salem Witch Trials. Because of Hawthorne’s family connection and history, it is both an interest and conflict for Hawthorne that came out in his writings. In this story, he looks into the witchcraft frenzy and psychology of the Puritan mind. Goodman Brown is fighting in himself good vs evil. Included is the prevalence and secrecy of sin and evil alive within all people, Mr. Brown, his father, grandfather, his friends and neighbors, members of his church and even his wife Faith. Thus, ones loss of faith and self-doubt about all that is …show more content…

The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 were a very stressful time in colonial American history. During the trials there was such widespread paranoia that anyone could be accused and tried. Men and women were accused, imprisoned, and executed for witchcraft prior to and during the Salem madness. Although, the consequences of Goodman Brown’s interaction with the old man stay with him for the rest of his life. It is never fully clear whether the old man and Goodman Brown’s experiences in the forest were a dream or reality He is a broken, sad, distrustful, desperate man for good

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