Good And Evil In Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

1663 Words7 Pages
The early American Romantic writer Nathaniel Hawthorne is known as a very dominant person because of his elevation in American short stories. Hawthornes’s work mostly bears distinctive suggestions of his New England Puritan heritage, which exerted on his thought about the guilt and sins of humanity especially in one of his major work he did “Young Goodman Brown”. The story develops through the clue of Goodman Brown’s slowly giving in to evil from the corruption of his wife and the encounter of the devil. Various symbols were also used to reveal the conflict of good and evil in all people, although in the authors view, evil usually takes over the human heart at some point after you lose faith in God. In “Young Goodman Brown,” Hawthorne uses…show more content…
McCabe also illustrates how “Hawthorne sets Young Goodman Brown into a context of Puritan rigidity and self-doubt to allow his contemporary readers to see the consequences of such a belief system (2).” Instead of recognizing the inherent fallibility of those around him, he perceives those like Faith to be almost as holy as an angel. The Puritans cultural beliefs, which are evident in “Young Goodman Brown,” are that the woods are a dangerous place to go. The woods, at least in Salem, are thought to be where witches speak with the devil. Though Brown is aware of this, and although his wife asked him not to go into the woods, he leaves anyway. For instance, Goodman Brown’s wife “Faith” appears to be appears to be the most pure-hearted person in the story and serves as a stand-in of sorts for all religious feeling. Goodman Brown adheres to her when he questions the goodness of the people around him, assuring himself that if Faith remains godly, then his own faith is worth fighting temptation to maintain. Brown also believed that “Faith” his wife has been corrupted by the evil and also the people around her because he believes in the absolutes evil at the heart of man. Hawthorne’s illustrates that “with this excellence resolve for the future, Goodman Brown felt himself justified in making more haste on his present evil purpose” (323). Brown even told the devil that the woods was not a place for him to be in at night and that his father and grandfather would never gone into the woods before at night. Then the devil explains to Brown that he knows the man in his family very well. This moment in the story, Brown is confused and instead of having faith in his belief about the woods, he continues to follow the devil. The farther he goes into the woods the farther he gets from his faith. Hawthorne’s states that “The
Open Document