Goodman Brown

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“Young Goodman Brown” is the story of a religious Puritan man from Salem Village who is blinded by the sin of pride and loses faith and fails to see the world as it really is. Brown takes a journey into the woods at night where his guide, the devil, invites him to follow him and take part in a ritual. Reluctant at first, he nevertheless continues his journey, which results in his loss of faith in God and his fellow man.

Goodman Brown is a firm believer in God and his teachings, along with his community and his beloved wife, Faith. The story begins with Goodman Brown parting ways with Faith, as he must go on a journey through the night. Faith wishes Goodman Brown to stay, but he tells her it is something that he must do. Faith replies with “Then God bless you! and may you find all well when you come back” (528). Which is ironically the opposite of what he finds when he returns. Still unknowing to his future, his last words to Faith before his journey are “Say the prayers, dear Faith, and go to bed at dusk, and no harm will come to thee” (528).

Brown embarks on his journey into the woods at night where, according to Puritan belief, the devil resides, perhaps because he believes that his faith will keep him safe from temptation. Brown then meets a man on his journey; he looks like a normal person in every way but is believed to be the devil. One particular detail is the staff that he posses “which bore the likeness of a great black snake, so curiously wrought that it might almost be seen to twist and wriggle itself like a living serpent” (529). The devil continually asks Brown if he would like to take hold of the staff, and join him down the path down the woods. Brown refuses to take hold of the staff, but unconsciously continues to walk and talk with the devil, but his faith is shaken when he learns that his own ancestors have communed with the devil. Brown seems to be in denial for the claims of the devil about his ancestors for them never speaking of...
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