Evil Temptation In Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

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Society is filled with evil temptations. Murderers, drug abusers, and thieves can be found everywhere, even among respected government officials, businessmen, and law enforcement officials. The temptation caused by vengeance, hatred, and personal benefit can sometimes overrule an individual’s morals. This is revealed in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s piece, “Young Goodman Brown.” The main character travels down an evil path with the devil, allowing the temptation to overrule his morals. Hawthorne portrays Goodman Brown as dishonest, hypocritical, demonic, gullible, and frightened. This allows readers to grasp the idea of human imperfection and the fact that most individuals fall to evil temptation. At the beginning of the story, Goodman Brown introduces the theme by stating a lie. After his wife displays concern, Brown asks the question, “‘dost thou doubt me already?’” (Hawthorne 77). As explained later on, his nocturnal journey occurs with the devil. This gives Brown’s wife a good reason to doubt him. The clearly-stated lie eliminates the innocence of Goodman Brown, which indicates that no human is perfect. Temptation can cause sinful actions even among the most respected. In addition to dishonesty, Brown is hypocritical. A …show more content…
He moved through the woods, “brandishing his staff with frenzied gestures, now giving vent to an inspiration of horrid blasphemy, and now shouting forth such laughter as set all the echoes of the forest laughing like demons around him” (Hawthorne 83). This action clearly deviates from his Christian morals. Because this contributes to the theme of sinful behavior throughout the story, it can be directly applied to today’s society. Individuals murder others, thieves rob banks, and criminals use drugs. They know this is wrong, but the temptation of personal satisfaction, anger, and revenge override their morals. In short, Goodman Brown’s demonic behavior explains how temptation can affect an

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