Theme Of Betrayal In Young Goodman Brown

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According to Merriam-Webster, betrayal is defined by leading astray, delivering to an enemy by treachery, failing or deserting especially in time of need, or revealing unintendedly. All of these defined forms of betrayal are prevalent in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, “Young Goodman Brown”. These acts of betrayal are exhibited on the protagonist by various characters throughout the plot, including the protagonist himself. This theme of betrayal contributes greatly to the protagonist’s character development and plot. Goodman Brown is betrayed by his family and community, however he is equally at fault for betraying his family and community, as well as his own beliefs. This betrayal leads the protagonist to question the world and people around him. The theme of this short story is that betrayal leads to consequences and these consequences can be nonstop. Although it is not clear to the audience if Goodman Brown’s journey into the forest is a dream of reality, the plot offers insight into the protagonist’s subconscious and his struggle with faith. In this story, Young Goodman Brown sets off on a secretive adventure into the woods that he is very cautious about from the start. While traveling, Goodman Brown runs into a fellow-traveler who is a representation of the devil himself. Throughout the journey, the devil is telling him stories…show more content…
Not only is Young Goodman Brown betraying his own loved ones and beliefs but the ones he cares for are disregarding him right back. This plot is quite frankly like a train of dominos; one does bad, the same receives bad. Each example of betrayal helps move along and set up yet another example. Hawthorne gives his readers a harsh reality of betrayal in all types of relationships and the penalties that come with it. The message behind this story may be hard to discover but it needs to be widely
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