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Analysis of 'Young Goodman Brown'

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Introduction

Fiction Paper I found "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne to be a very intriguing story, so I decided to analyze this one for my paper. The story is about a young man, Goodman Brown, making a journey into a forest. He gets there only to see the most prominent people from his town doing devilish things and they try to convert him and his wife, but he passes out. He then wakes up in the forest and there is absolutely no evidence of what happened the night before, but he lives the rest of his life believing that everyone in his town is a witch. The main central theme in this short story is the conversion of a man from believing that he has free will over staying away from the demonic side of things, to seeing that everyone around him is under the control of the devil. When he kisses his wife good bye and meets the man in the forest at the beginning of the story, he feels that he is going into the woods to free himself of sin. When he comes out the next day he sees the sin in everyone and lives the rest of his life in distrust of everyone around him. ...read more.

Middle

First it is his catechism teacher, who represents a small part of where his faith stood, then the deacon and minister, who are supposed to be representatives of the lord. At these sightings, Brown's faith is ruined because it is the fact that he saw these specific people that made him stop praying in church, and finally losing his religion all together. Hawthorne put a strong attention to detail in this story, and it is very important as we find out when a pink ribbon falls in front of Brown, the same pink ribbon described as Faith's in the beginning of the story. This symbolizes that Brown's Faith is being taken away from him and he feel like he has to go to the meeting to get her back, and that his faith's purity is being compromised. The fact that he shout that his faith is gone and there is no good on earth compromises this and shows that Brown has lost his faith already and he knows that he will never get it back, but he goes deeper into the forest anyway. When Hawthorne describes the meeting and Brown's faith being there, what Brown says to his wife means that he is actually trying to resist the dark side himself. ...read more.

Conclusion

I believe that it is supposed to show the regularity of this man. He could be any man in the world. He was just a simple husband and master of his household, with the common name Brown, which we could probably find a thousand listing for in the directory today. He represents all of mankind, and shows that all of humanity is going through this struggle between good and evil. This was especially true for the time of Brown's existence. People were being accused of being witches, and people were burning them at the stake with no proof, and no one knows who was right, but everyone had an idea. Just as Brown had the idea that his faith was strong until he saw that everyone sins, and it deeply disturbed him. Young Goodman Brown gave himself over to the devil when he said "come devil, for to thee is this world given." He was basically confirming what the stranger in the woods, or the devil, told him earlier, that evil is in the nature of all mankind, and he did confirm it in his mind and it drove him to be a distrusting, dark and dreary man for the rest of his life. Even to his wife who he loved and cherished so much before the events of that night. ?? ?? ?? ?? 2 ...read more.

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