Goodman Brown’s Battle with Good and Evil
In "Young Goodman Brown," the setting plays an important role. It provides symbolism to certain events and provokes emotions amongst the characters, especially those of Goodman Brown. The central idea of the story is the conflict in Goodman Brown between joining the devil and remaining "good." It is a very difficult journey for Brown, as he travels through the woods, all the while thinking of the "good" things he would be leaving behind, like his wife Faith. This internal conflict ultimately destroys Young Goodman Brown and creates a new man.
At the beginning of the story, Goodman Brown sets out on his journey at sunset, symbolizing darkness and evil. Before Brown leaves, he kisses his wife, Faith, goodbye. The name Faith is intentionally used to symbolize the faith in God that they both share and also what Brown leaves behind to go on his journey. Faith wears pink ribbons in her hair, which give the impression that she is an innocent godly woman. Before Brown leaves on his journey, Faith says, "pr'y thee, put off your journey until sunrise." This is showing that sunrise is a more pleasant and peaceful time to go on a journey rather than at night when it is considered dangerous to roam about. This sets the mood for Brown's adventure and foreshadows that something horrible is about to happen to him.
As Brown starts on his adventure, he remembers that his wife had dreams of this particular adventure, dreams that warned him not to go. This feeling of uncertainty sparks a feeling of anxiety in Brown as he continues walking through the forest and on with his journey. Soon after, the scenery around him begins to change and the road becomes “darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest, which barely stood aside to let the narrow path creep through, and closed immediately behind.” This quote describes the dark and gloomy surroundings that Brown...
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