Sacrifice In Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

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In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “Young Goodman Brown,” Hawthorne uses Goodman Brown’s character to express his distaste for his ancestors. At the beginning of the story, Hawthorne describes Goodman Brown to appear charming on the surface, but subtly depicts Brown to have a dark side. As Goodman Brown goes on his journey, his integrity is called into question by the devil. Even though he admits multiple times that he should not be following the devil on this endeavor, Brown continues to move. When he discovers that his wife, Faith, is in the woods with him, he breaks. Goodman Brown gives into temptation and accompanies the devil to the ceremony. Because of his actions, he lives the rest of his life in despair. Overall, Hawthorne shows his…show more content…
Despite his best attempts to stop his travels with the devil, Goodman Brown is unable to resist the devil’s temptation. Goodman Brown witnesses the devil’s evil firsthand: “The moment his [Goodman Brown’s] fingers touched them they became strangely withered and dried up as with a week’s sunshine. Thus the pair proceeded, at a good free pace, until suddenly, in a gloomy hollow of the road, Goodman Brown sat himself down on the stump of a tree and refused to go any farther” (643). For a short period of time, Hawthorne convinces the reader that Goodman Brown is capable of standing up to the wicked force. Brown says, “Friend, my mind is made up. Not another step will I budge on this errand” (643). However, the devil is ultimately able to persuade Goodman Brown to following him. He says, “You will think better of this by and by. Sit here and rest yourself a while; and when you feel like moving again, there is my staff to help you along” (643). Like that, Goodman Brown changes his mind and follows the devil. Later, Goodman Brown tries to resist the devil yet again. He cries, “With heaven above and Faith below, I will yet stand firm against the devil” (644). However, his resistance quickly changes as he realizes what the devil has done. The devil brings Faith into the woods, rattling Goodman Brown: “But something fluttered lightly down through the air and caught on the branch of a tree. The young man seized it, and beheld a pink ribbon. ‘My Faith is gone!’ cried he, after one stupefied moment. ‘There is no good on earth, and sin is but a name. Come, devil; for to thee is this world given’” (644). Goodman Brown has broken. For most of the story, Goodman Brown had reluctantly followed the devil, but after Faith, the person whom he loved most was compromised by the devil, Goodman Brown’s faith

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