Young Goodman Brown Character Analysis Essay

1251 Words 6 Pages
Nathaniel Hawthorn’s short story is a tragic tale of the darkness of humanity and the journey though that darkness. This essay will explore what makes a hero and what makes a victim. It will be covering how much characters change during a story and how they are not always as they seem. This essay will show the effects of Brown’s journey through the woods and how it changes him from a hero to a victim. Lastly, the essay will delve into how the loss of Goodman Brown’s faith, hope and his disillusionment of his world would greatly effect and scar the remainder of his life. The story of Young Goodman Brown, from the characters to his journey, show how this is a story of a victim and not that of a hero.
The characters in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s story
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The three major characters that most influenced the story were Young Goodman Brown, his wife Faith and the old man. Faith was a young puritan who wore ribbons in her hair, portraying the image of innocence, yet she also had her own secrets. Faith was a major character and very much a symbolic character of how society has both a light and a dark side. She acted pure of heart but by the end of the story the audience see’s that she was a part of the orgy in the woods and was not what she seemed. The old man is a dynamic character. At first he seems like a normal man but as the story progresses he is shown to possibly be the devil. The old man possibly Satan was the antagonist who was the catalyst for the extreme changes wrought in the development of the character of Young Goodman Brown. Young Goodman Brown is the protagonist of the story. He is a round character who was thought of as a hero. Brown goes through a lot of development; he goes from a man secure in his faith to a man disillusioned from God and filled with terror. The definition of a hero is someone strong of spirit …show more content…
The characters of Faith and the old man who started off as one thing but became another over time doomed Brown as a hero before he had even started his journey. Watching people, he thought were good and learning that this was not the case crushed his faith and perception of reality exposing his weakness as a character. Goodman Brown’s journey into the woods with Satan symbolizes the decent into hell as it strips him of his faith and fills him with eternal fear making him the victim of the devil. During the journey deeper into the woods he lost his strength of character that made him a hero. He essentially though his fear, panic and lack of faith let the darkness into his own soul. At the end of Brown’s life, he is a traumatized gloomy man who has lived his life with no hope or faith. All this factors contributed to Young Goodman Brown becoming the victim of his own story, for a man who started off as a hero his story ended as his

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