Theme Of Deception In Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

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“‘Young Goodman Brown”’ is not a story that’s meaning is strictly limited to darkness. Inimical to Herman Melville’s proposed meaning, the meaning of “Young Goodman Brown” is humanity’s struggle between good and evil. Thus, dividing it into three facets: the innate goodness of man, deception, and faith. From birth to early adolescence, people are generally innocent. They do not perceive what is right from what is wrong. In, “Young Goodman Brown”, Nathaniel Hawthorne draws a light on this subject, that is the fact that every individual is born good, and to a certain extent they hold on to that quality. In the first paragraph of the story, the reader can already see allusion and imagery alluding to this idea: “Young Goodman Brown came forth …show more content…
Goodman Brown is a victim of serial deception from both those who he loved, and who he respected. Among them are: Faith, the fellow traveller, and various town leader, as well as church leaders. The most allegorical case of deception is when the old fellow traveller deceives Goodman Brown. This deception is borne in the subsequent quotation by the traveller: “‘Take my staff, if you are so soon weary”’(Hawthorne 263). He is speaking to Goodman as if the staff is going to help him, when it is actually a serpentine object that transports them to the sadistic ceremony in the forest. This quote is intriguing, because Hawthorne’s wording and smoothness of dialogue, even fools the reader into thinking that maybe the traveller is a decent man. As stated previously, Goodman is a sufferer of multiple cases of deception, even from his family, and the traveller a puts an end to Goodman’s naïveté on page 263: “‘…and it was I that brought your father a pitch-pine knot, kindled at my own hearth, to set fire to an Indian village…”’(Hawthorne). At this point, Goodman is beginning to take part in a downward spiral it seems, as a result of all of the deception that surrounds him. This is especially the case, because in this particular instance it was regarding his family. This idea of deception is a part of the darkness that Melville talks about, but even in the face of all the …show more content…
This is evidently shown not to be the case, although there is blackness in the story through the innate goodness of man, deception, and faith. Meaning that, through his naïve goodness, Goodman Brown was blind to thinking anyone would deceive him, which ultimately led to his faltering of faith. This was merely an allegory of the human struggle between good and evil. What can be drawn from this meaning of “Young Goodman Brown”, is that even when people are good on the inside, and people who they love are deceiving them, that person will too be consumed after they lose faith of said person or persons by evilness. Thus, a world forever consumed by deception, loss or faltering of faith, and unconsumed by innate goodness of man will remain the centerfold, but the innate goodness will always

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