When he discovers that he is simply another sinner, simply another member of a corrupt race, he loses all dignity, all capacity for moral inquiry. Brown now makes a rather feeble attempt to turn away from sin and return to Faith.
The coven instantly disappears, and Brown makes his way back to town as a free man. Giving in to a mindless, emotional indulgence, he is later checked by the awesome finality of the Black Mass and acknowledges his insufficiency; then, for the first and only time in the story, he calls on God for assistance.
Alone again, Brown looks up to heaven to pray, but soon finds his view obscured by a black cloud which seems to contain the voices of many sinners. There he meets the devil, whose identity is communicated to the reader through the snakelike staff he carries.
In the first paragraph, we learn that Goodman Brown is departing from his wife, Faith, to spend a night in the woods. In The theme in young goodman brown he echoes the dominant point of view of seventeenth-century Puritans, who believed that the wild New World was something to fear and then dominate.
The devil now disappears, and Brown hides from the approaching minister and deacon to eavesdrop on their conversation.
He wanders away into the woods, whose dark, tangled ways and poor visibility represent the loneliness and confusion of the Godless life. An Introduction to Reading and Writing. As such, the story absolutely overflows with symbolism. His relationships with both the good people of his town and with God have been spoiled forever.
The Inevitable Loss of Innocence Goodman Brown loses his innocence because of his inherent corruptibility, which suggests that whether the events in the forest were a dream or reality, the loss of his innocence was inevitable.
Ironically, this is the very sort of religiosity one might see the tale as promoting with a cursory reading. His language is one again heavily couched in symbolism. Whether by act of will or by divine grace, Brown appears to have resisted the power of evil at the climactic moment and given evidence of at least the possibility of salvation for his wife and himself.
He exudes the confidence of a person who expects to retain control of the situation and pull back if he so decides.
He himself is ashamed to be seen walking in the forest and hides when Goody Cloyse, the minister, and Deacon Gookin pass. In yet another double entendre, he cries that "My Faith is gone!
However, if he has, what can be made of his life thereafter? Upper Saddle River, NJ: The question Brown confronts is whether his heritage of Original Sin incapacitates him for resisting personal sin. The old habits of mind had been challenged, but they were not dead. All family and community relationships have been poisoned, and if he can be said to retain his faith, he appears to have lost hope completely.
What point is Hawthorne making here? What had seemed to be a black-and-white religious allegory of sin and redemption does not have the happy ending we might have expected, even though the protagonist of the piece has done what would seem to be the right thing within the context of the moral universe of the tale.
If the ability to resist the Devil at his own table is victory, he has triumphed; if he has made the effort at the expense of his capability for human trust, he has met spiritual defeat.
He considers it a matter of family honor that his forefathers would never have walked in the forest for pleasure, and he is upset when the devil tells him that this was not the case.
She calls for him to remain with her, but Brown is determined to go his own way."Young Goodman Brown" is a story of good and evil at their most extreme. Okay, so it's not quite Lord of the Rings. But the life of one man can be an epic struggle between good and evil, even wit.
"Young Goodman Brown" is a story of good and evil at their most extreme. Okay, so it's not quite Lord of the Rings. But the life of one man can be an epic struggle between good and evil, even without elves or orcs or flaming catapults.
The theme of "Young Goodman Brown" is humanity's weak and corruptible nature. Goodman Brown lives in Salem with his aptly-named wife Faith, whose religious conviction assures Brown that she will. A summary of Themes in Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Young Goodman Brown and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.
Symbolism and Theme in "The Young Goodman Brown" By Jimmy Maher. Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Young Goodman Brown" is presented as an allegory of the danger inherent in abandoning one's Christian faith, even for one evening.
“Young Goodman Brown” is the classic American short story of the guilty conscience. The question Brown confronts is whether his heritage of Original Sin incapacitates him for resisting.Download