Dayna Cirmia ENG 151 Section 1880 September 12, 2010 ³Young Goodman Brown´

Dostoevsky states, ³A man goes on a journey and a stranger comes to town´. When it comes to Hawthorne¶s short story ³Young Goodman Brown´, it is evident that the relationship between the quote and the story is found early on. ³Young Goodman Brown´ is a metaphor for one man¶s quest to find the truth behind his protestant beliefs, but realizes quickly that things are not always as they may seem. Goodman Brown begins this journey as a faithful religious man who has excellent resolve for the future and almost immediately into his journey a stranger who in truth is the devil greets him. When Goodman Brown leaves for his journey he makes a statement about his wife Faith saying, ³Well; she¶s a blessed angel on earth; and after this one night I¶ll cling to her skirt and follow her to heaven´ (p.198), and when he returns from his journey he looks ³sternly and sadly into her face, and passed on without greeting´ (p.206). His views of his beloved Faith among many other things have changed. The journey turned Goodman Brown into ³A stern, a sad, a darkly meditative, a distrustful, if not a desperate man, did he become, from the night of that fearful dream´ (p.206). Salem represents Goodman Brown¶s Puritan beliefs and the village represents a safe place that is predictable with order, security, and purity. The forest more or less represents that fear of the unknown, chaos, disarray, evil and

200) things generally associated with witchcraft. like a living serpent´ (p. Note the last words of the story: ³They carved no hopeful verse upon his tombstone. ³Pr¶y thee. stolen. Within the first three lines of the story the author Nathaniel Hawthorne even comments that she was aptly named faith. and that. when I was all anointed with the juice of smallage and cinque-foil and wolf¶s-bane´ (p. A lone woman is troubled with such dreams and such . for his dying hour was gloom.Goodman Brown¶s experience in the forestwhether it had be a dream or realitycauses him to lose his faith in others and die an unhappy man.198) which bares likeness to the snake from the Garden of Eden. that it might even seem to twist and wriggle itself.who is perceived to be a witch: ³My broomstick hath strangely disappeared.(Cirmia page 2) darkness.207). Even the tree that the ³devil´ is seen under can be a symbolism for the Garden of Eden and ³The story of Fall (man)´. and sleep in your own bed to-night. by that unhanged witch. The townspeople represent the faith that Goodman Brown still has in his religion. When he sees Goody Cloyse the woman who taught him his catechism as a youth and who he has looked at as his moral and spiritual advisor. The staff that the ³devil´ is carrying is commented on as ³having great likeness as that of a black snake being so curiously wrought. as I suspect.´ (p. put off your journey until sunrise. Within the first page of this story you get an understanding of how powerful the symbolism is especially when it comes to faith his wife. Goody Cory. too.

dear husband.198).´ (p. from commoners to councilmen. Is a quote that Faith said to Goodman Brown. Pray. of divers towns. if you are so soon weary´ (p. Perhaps Hawthorne expressed the stranger in this way because seeing a familiar face in a unfamiliar and uncomfortable setting. Though they could still be mistaken for father and son. more so in expression than features.(Cirmia page 3) thoughts. changed and strange to himself. When Goodman Brown first meets the stranger in the forest Hawthorne states that he bares a considerable resemblance to Brown. but ultimately Faith knew that it was his fate to take this journey into the forest and she knew in her heart that his faith in man and his beliefs on his religion would change for the worse. the likeness to this comment is to that of the snake offering Adam and Eve the apple in the Garden of Eden.199). The stranger comes off as being a kind man: ³Come. sometimes. Take my staff. She knew he was going to come back a different man. of all nights in the year!´ (P197). It is soon learned that the devil has many followers in New England. The governor and I. No matter where we turn . The deacons of many a church have drunk the communion wine with me. Goodman Brown! This is a dull pace for the beginning of a journey. the selectmen. tarry with me this night. too-but these are state-secrets. puts any person at ease. make me their chairmen. and a majority of the Great and General court are firm supporters of my interest. ³I have a very general acquaintance here in New-England. that¶s she¶s afeard of herself.

no matter how safe and holy a place might seem to be. . Evil embodies us all. Goodman Brown began his journey a religious and faithful man but at the same time. changed from the person he was.He was hoping to come back from this journey with a clear mind when it came to his religion. By the end of Nathaniel Hawthorne¶s story it is evident that Goodman Brown came back from his journey not as he had hoped and thought as a more faithful and righteous man but as one questioning his beliefs and a bewildered and broken man. ³this cant be so´(p. in the back of his mind he was questioning his beliefs. As he continues his journey he comes to believe that the devil speaks the truth of these things and Brown wonders if there¶s any good left in mankind.(Cirmia page 4) or look in life. When Goodman Brown first heard this from the devil he was in disbelief saying.199) with a stare of utter amazement. a stranger to himself and to the ones around him and his beloved ³faith´. the devils work is always at play around us. Referring back to the quote ³A man goes on a journey a stranger comes to town´.

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