A Transformative Experience In Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

Improved Essays
Isabel Tran
Ms. Gordon
English III - 6th Period
22 September 2015
A Walk On the Dark Side In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, “Young Goodman Brown”, Goodman Brown travels into a forest and has a transformative experience. Set in late 17th century Massachusetts, Brown wanders into the forest, despite his wife, Faith’s, wishes. At the end of his journey, Brown is suddenly back in the middle of the forest, as if he has awakened from a dream. However, the aftermath of his vision leaves a more permanent mark on him and his outlook on others. In the forest, Goodman Brown is shaken of his faith and his original attitude towards life. When Goodman Brown wanders off into the forest, he also wanders from his Puritan faith. In the very beginning, Hawthorne sets the scene at sunset, signifying the end of the day. Sunsets
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As Brown prays under the cloud, he hears a scream and gets a hold of a pink ribbon. He exclaims: “My Faith is gone!” (79). Not only does he think he has lost his wife, but his trust in religion. In the last moments of his dream, he and Faith are in front of an alter. The figure in front of them says: “Now are ye deceived. Evil is the nature of mankind. Evil must be your only happiness,” (82). The idea that men are born evil begins to grow in him. Brown makes one last attempt to reach out to his faith as he shouts to his wife to “resist the wicked one,” (82). However, he is abruptly rejected when he wakes up. The allegorical tale of Goodman Brown identifies the conservative morals of the Puritans as well the weaknesses of their religion. Brown fights very hard to maintain his faith, but it is no match for the revelations he has in the woods. Once out of the the dark, Brown begins to see his fellow villagers as nothing but sinners. Not only are his previous beliefs changed, but his compassion for others is drained, leaving him to feel

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