Temptation In Young Goodman Brown

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The desires of humanity often reflect the temptations residing in the heart’s depths. Evil’s lure is a strong pull felt by all, regardless of the appearance put on through the conscious mind. In literature, temptation is explored thoroughly, especially in the short story, “Young Goodman Brown”. “The tale becomes in great part, thus, a record of temptation” (Pualits 578-579). The author of “Young Goodman Brown”, Nathaniel Hawthorne, was born in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1804. His family has a long standing history in Salem, as his relative John Hathorne was a judge in the Witch Trials. Soon after the trials a ‘w’ was added to the family’s last name to distance themselves from the horrors of the time (Nathaniel Hawthorne Biography). Set during…show more content…
When Goodman Brown is being tempted to go to the witches Sabbath, we see even those who must be the most holy people of the town on their way to the Sabbath, making Goody Cloyse “a marvel, truly, that [she] should be so far in the wilderness at nightfall” (Hawthorne 3). The devil uses this person, especially to try to push Brown over the edge into temptation. Much like there is a ‘Faith’ keeping a person on the mindset of goodness and pureness, there are aspects of life drawing us away from the goodness. Temptation is everywhere and the goal of temptation is to lead you away from purity to the evil. This temptation is often ignored or denied in an attempt to not fall into it. Goodman Brown’s “prolonged resistance is a denial of the wishes that are the source of his projections” (Levy 4). After seeing all the people falling into sin before him, Brown finds difficulty not to. Humanity struggles with this everyday. Humans will have a person or people highly regarded, but when the person or those people fail, they will lose the faith in humanity and give up by falling into the temptation. “Despite his resistance to the ceremony in the woods, Young Goodman Brown is ultimately initiated into the evil that lurks within the villagers...” (Young Goodman Brown 1). Everyone held up on a faith’s and innocence’s pedestal have also fallen into the trap of temptation. Everyone falls into the sin and temptation placed before them. There is not a single truly perfect person in the world, but people do not always initially realize this. Humanity will consciously resist all evil coming their way, while the subconscious craves it. The devil in the story is the subconscious and innate desires of humanity because he reveals that, “Evil is the nature of mankind. Evil must be your only happiness. Welcome again, my children, to the communion of your race” (Hawthorne 8). Once a person comes to the realization of his or her own personal
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