Young Goodman Brown: The Story of Evil Over Good

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“Young Goodman Brown” is one of the Hawthorne’s signature stories. It deals with the power of social expectations, the grip of the past, and the transformation of a person’s way of living. In “Young Goodman Brown” symbolic significance of names, objects, times, and places seem obvious. The name Goodman suggests good man. The short story is a simple religious parable that discusses the evils of life that is undeniable. Hawthorne reveals that private religious faith gets weaken by corruptibility emphasis on public mortality. “Young Goodman Brown” is a psychological tale that shows the impact of sin upon the particularly sensitive mind. Brown was aware of his mission in the start; however, later he observes sin only in other people. Goodman believes that every person around him is religious due to his religious convictions. In the unconscious state, Goodman Brown demonstrates his propensity to sin and his inherently malevolent nature.

Goodman Brown’s dispute from faith signifies his defection of faith. “My love and my Faith,” replied young Goodman Brown, “of all nights in the year, this one must I tarry away from thee.” (Hawthorne 1). That quotation shows that Goodman Brown leaving her wife alone at home and going to start the journey toward the forest. That quotation also demonstrates the replies of Goodman Brown that the faith cannot be weakened if a person is pure from the inside. When the journey of Goodman Brown is started, he feels guilt over leaving the faith. Because deep-down he scares that faith might know about his sinful journey in the forest. Goodman’s believe faith has good angle heart, and she wants to stay home with him and not going to journey of sin. Goodman’s also mentioned that his wife’s virtue would make him holy again after the deep his toe into the darkest sin. Before entering the forest, Goodman Brown shows that he has strong faith. He also shows strong faith during his journey to the black mass. When persons begin their journey, they should remember that they must face different evils in their way. In the story, forests are used as a symbol to discuss evil and danger, and it shows that faith can be abandon in the thick dark forest.

The Journey Signifies Goodman Brown’s withdrawal into himself with his rejection of the external world. While walking on the thick dark forest’s road, Goodman Brown begins to think about evil stuff as he got the feeling that he was traveling alongside the devil on that road. Goodman Brown found a companion when he was walking on the road in the forest, and Goodman Brown tells him that before deciding to cross over the evil world, he had been faithful towards his beliefs. Brown also said, “With heaven above and Faith below, I will yet stand firm against the devil!” (Hawthorne 4). This sentence demonstrates that Goodman Brown has a strong faith and not to join the devil even if the whole town is joining devil path. The devil prerogatives that he knows his father and grandfather who concealed their evil conduct behind their resemblance of devoutness of god and good Christianity. Goodman Brown was Stunned hearing that facts, and disappointed that his father and grandfather didn’t even tell him the truth about this saneness hidden life. When he realized that people whom he follows whole his life are at the darker side, then he feels like a someone demolished earth below him, and he is going deep under the earth with that heavy burden in his heart. That statement demonstrates that the companion might be an evil how heard his saying stuff like now Goodman Brown has lost faith in his belief. The story demonstrates that things in life can be deceitful and a man about right and wrong.

The devil is a manifestation of Goodman Brown’s desires, his ID. Goodman Brown mentioned, “There is no good on earth, and sin is but a name. come, the devil; for to thee is this world given.” Devil pursued Goodman Brown as he did in the story by showing the bright side of evil. The given quotation illustrates that Goodman Brown begins to think about evil stuff as he got the feeling that there is everyone he knows including his wife is following devil side, and there is nothing in this world pure and innocent. Satan persuades a person to join evil as it contains every joy of life like money, romance, and luxury, and sex. However, it’s entirely on a person to choose the right path. Goodman Brown had to choose to continue onward or turn back; this was the same situation when Goodman Brown was deciding about the threshold of his house. the author shows that it is up to a person to follow evil or noble path. The author depicts that it’s easy for a person to travel on the wrong side by getting sidetracked on the right paths.

The townspeople are a manifestation of Brown’s Ego. “A grave and dark-clad company,” said Brown (Hawthorne 5). This states that devils completely blindsided him as he was unable to distinguish the reality from his dreams. Goodman found pink ribbon caught up in the branch which show’s Brown’s propensity to think regarding God and Satan, good or evil, and the flesh or the spirit. Rest of the life of Goodman Brown was ruined due to his inability to face the truth and live with it among other people around him in the village. The devil changes the mind of Goodman, which allows him to think that he is the only person who is not a devil worshipper. Goodman’s also learned that people who he follows like the Goody Cloyse and church lady also on the path of sin. He feels like Goody Cloyse is far fewer injuries than she shows, but far more devilish. Authors show that when a person steps foot on the evil side than he starts to think that every person is evil. His faith was broken, and he no longer trusts anyone around him.

Brown’s purposeful corruption of Faith shows his losing control over him and accepting Superego. Goodman Brown growled devilish, “Let us hear which will laugh loudest. Think not to frighten me with your deviltry. Come, witch, come, wizard, come Indian powwow, come devil himself” (Hawthorne 5). This sentence demonstrates that Goodman brown completely accepting the evil path and challenging devil to afraid of him. It is also illustrating that Goodman Brown completely lose his faith and joining the evil path. The sight of the audience impact on Brown’s folly innocence and faith and prove the insincerity of the Puritans. The devil profoundly inspires Goodman’s doubt on his relationship with townspeople, and especially his family relationship with his father, grandfather, and faith. After the end of the journey, Goodman Brown must decide whether to choose a devil path or noble path or whether to lose his innocence and his faith and become an offender. That shows that staying on the Noble path makes a person alone on his journey.

Goodman Brown follow devil path unconsciously against his Puritanism and his own nature. Goodman Brown demonstrate that Satan can easily sidetrack a person from the right path and can persuade him to travel on the wrong side. The story shows that the perspective of a person changed when he stepped foot in the evil path. Goodman Brown was totally under control of his ID in the initial of the journey, but after seeing faith in the forest, he starts himself as losing control over his ego. Nathaniel Hawthorne does an excellent job in the story “Young Goodman Brown” by utilizing symbolism to depict a real-life battle. The dark forest was not just a setting; it’s the demonstration of dark and evil life.

Work Cited

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “Young Goodman Brown.” PDF-Archive,

One Reply to “Young Goodman Brown: The Story of Evil Over Good”

  1. Pankaj Arora says:

    Interesting article

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