The Theme Of Good And Evil In Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

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In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s story “Young Goodman Brown” the desire for Goodman Brown to remain “good” was addressed. At the beginning of the story, Goodman Brown was leaving his new wife, Faith, to go on an errand he considered evil. During this errand Brown meets with a man in the forest who appears to be the devil. Goodman Brown had a distaste for the man and disapproved of their meeting because he considered himself and his family as respectable people. However, the man addressed the idea that honorable people could take part in shameful acts. Correspondingly the man claimed that he had done business with Brown’s family in the past, even though they were considered genuine people. Although when the idea of good and evil was revealed to Goodman …show more content…
After witnessing all of the people he trusted attending the devil’s meeting, Goodman Brown decided he was the only reasonable person left. “On the Sabbath day, when the congregation were singing a holy psalm, he could not listen because an anthem of sin rushed loudly upon his ear and drowned all the blessed strain” (12-13). As he sat in church with the rest of his town, he criticized them all instead of praying. He no longer believed what his priest spoke about and had a hard time trusting him. Goodman Brown’s feelings towards his townspeople, did not allow them to become round characters. Instead, Brown addresses his fellow townspeople as if their actions associated with the devil portrayed them entirely. Goodman Brown was seen as a dynamic character considering he went through a growth and change in the story. “A stern, a sad, a darkly meditative, a distrustful, if not a desperate man did he become from the night of that fearful dream” (12). However, this change occurred because he labeled the entire town as evil and put himself over everyone. When Goodman Brown has the epiphany that every person is evil except for him, he prosecutes himself into a life filled with depression. “And when he had lived long, and was borne to his grave a hoary corpse, followed by Faith, an aged woman, and children and grandchildren, and goodly procession, besides neighbors not a few, they carved no hopeful verse upon his tombstone, for his dying hour was gloom” (13). At the conclusion of his life Brown was feared anything evil, and was unhappy with the outcome of his

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