Corruption In Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

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Lierse 1 Skylar Lierse Professor Belyi ENC 1102 01M 28 September 2014 “Young Goodman Brown” In the story “Young Goodman Brown”, Nathaniel Hawthorne puts strong emphasis on the mindsets and corruption of the Puritan society during the time of the Salem witch trials. Hawthorne portrays the setting as such a critical aspect to the story because it’s described as a dark, dreary place where the Puritans feel uncomfortable. Paranoia consistently overpowers them as they think thoughts such as “There may be a devilish Indian behind every tree” (4). As pure believers of Christian faith, these individuals were extremely vigilant of their surroundings and would only feel comforted in such a place if they resided to the devil’s powers and taken under…show more content…
This indicates that the man is offering Goodman Brown his power and to walk alongside him, betraying his Christian religion and morality. Eventually taking the staff, Goodman Brown’s vulnerability begins to show. After he grasps the idea of the devils acquaintance with his family’s ancestry and encounters Deacon Gookin, Goody Cloyse and even his dearest wife, Faith, the goodman is convinced there is no morality left in the world and everyone he has come to love is subjected to evil. In this case, Goodman Brown claims, “There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name. Come devil; for to these is this world given” (9). His decision to cross over to the dark side is immediately determined after witnessing his decaying Christian religion first hand. Quickly conforming to the devil’s roots only shows the weakness and vulnerability of the Puritans despite their solidifying religion. In the story the forest is characterized as dark, terrifying and devilish. To the Puritans, it is a place where the devil is always present and nothing good can happen. The quote, “The whole forest was peopled with frightful sounds — the creaking of the trees, the howling of the wild beasts and the yell of the Indians” (9) accurately describes the constant fear of what is occurring around them. The Puritans fear of the dark forest is such a prominent theme because it opposes every belief they have as followers of the Christian religion. Hawthorne is

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