The Devil from “Young Goodman Brown” Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Character Analysis of: The Devil

Sometimes there is a feeling that reeks of “no”, because what is about to be done is immoral, but there is an even larger, overpowering feeling that says “yes”. This, in the minds of many can be interpreted as the devil working his way into our in our daily lives. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown”, the devil does just that. The devil is not, in fact, the main character but has the most impact on Goodman Brown. The devil has worked his way into many of the puritan’s lives, leaving them with horrid secrets to bear. But, the devil worked his way into Goodman Brown’s soul, which leaves him spiritually dead before he actually dies. The devil is a part of mans everyday life whether it is liked or not. In “Young Goodman Brown”, Hawthorne makes this clear by using different characteristics, actions, symbolisms, and the relationship that the Puritans have with the devil. The devil is a very sly but wise character; he will try to find ways to make a man sin without, man, necessarily knowing about it. The devil has many different personas, but to Goodman Brown he looks like a normal man from the village. This is an example of a wise decision, because looking like a “normal” man from Salem makes him seem more trustworthy and more attractive to Goodman Brown. The devil makes several wise decisions that put himself ahead of man. The most important and only goal that the devil has is to get Goodman Brown so far lost into sin, “the forest”, that he can no longer find his way out, or “his faith”. The devil is trying to get Goodman Brown away from the holy Puritan lifestyle, tempting him to leave the safety of his home and head to the uncertainty of the forest. In the mid 1800’s the Puritans thought of the forest as being the “devil’s domain”, or the “devils breeding ground.” They associated the forest with Native Americans, which in that time the Puritans thought that if you didn’t believe in “the God”, then you were of the...
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