Temptation In Young Goodman Brown

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The desires of humanity often reflect the temptations residing in the heart’s depths. Evil’s lure is a strong pull that all feel, regardless of the appearance put on through the conscious mind. In literature, temptation is explored thoroughly, especially in the short story, “Young Goodman Brown”. “The tale becomes in great part, thus, a record of temptation” (Pualits 578-579). The author of “Young Goodman Brown”, Nathaniel Hawthorne, was born in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1804. His family has a long standing history in Salem, as his relative John Hathorne was a judge in the Witch Trials. Soon after the trials a ‘w’ was added to the family’s last name to distance themselves from the horrors of the time (Nathaniel Hawthorne Biography). Set during…show more content…
When Goodman Brown is being tempted to go to the witches sabbath, we see even those who must be the most holy people of the town on their way to the sabbath. “A marvel, truly, that Goody Cloyse should be so far in the wilderness at nightfall” (Hawthorne 3). Even his catechism teacher is falling into sin. The devil uses this person especially to try to push Brown over the edge into temptation. Much like there is a Faith that keeps a person on the mindset of goodness and pureness, there are aspects of life that draw us away from the goodness. Temptation is everywhere and the goal of temptation is to lead you away from purity to the evil. This temptation is often ignored or denied in an attempt to not fall into it. “His prolonged resistance is a denial of the wishes that are the source of his projections” (Levy 4). Young Goodman Brown is trying to deny the fact that he wants to fall into sin. After seeing all the people that have fallen into sin before him, Brown is finding it very difficult to not. Humanity struggles with this everyday. People will have another person or people that are highly regarded, but when that person or people fail, they will lose the Faith that they had in humanity and give it up by falling into the temptation. “Despite his resistance to the ceremony in the woods, Young Goodman Brown is ultimately initiated into the evil that lurks within the villagers...” (Young Goodman Brown 1). Everyone that he has held up on a pedestal of faith and innocence, has too fallen into the trap of temptation. Everyone falls into the sin and temptation placed before them. There is not a single truly good person in the world, but people do not always realize this right at first. People will consciously resist all evil that comes their way, while the subconscious craves it. “Evil is the nature of mankind. Evil must be your only happiness. Welcome again, my children, to the communion of your race” (Hawthorne 8).
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