Young Goodman Brown

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When interpreting Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story, "Young Goodman Brown", one can decide Hawthorne's intentional ambiguity towards Goodman Brown's encounter with the devil in the forest. Throughout the story, textual evidence influences the reader to discover that the meeting with the Devil did actually occur in reality.

Hawthorne was extremely straightforward with his references towards reality in "Young Goodman Brown" through Brown's recount of the details. He makes known throughout his detailing that there was no way that Brown's meeting with the devil could be a dream. Brown noticed everything around him throughout his journey, from the color of the fire to a rock. "…arose a rock, bearing some rude, natural resemblance either to an altar or a pulpit, and surrounded by four blazing pines, their tops aflame, their stems untouched, like candles at an evening meeting…" (Hawthorne 442). This examples makes a reference to when Brown was coming upon the meeting place of the devil worshippers, he noticed every fine detail about the area around him. In the future, after the ordeal with the devil, Brown still remembers everything about the dream. He can remember every person at the ceremonies sins, which you can tell by the way he still isolates himself in the future. Because of how much he knows this is why he grew apart from his love, because he knows how she gave into the devil. Brown would not just separate from his "true love" without absolutely knowing that she committed such an evil sin. With the amount of details exhibited there is no way possible that Brown's encounter with the devil could be a dream or hallucination.

During Brown's journey certain instances imply that the meeting with devil did in fact happen. In the beginning of the story, right after Brown leaves faith, the devil says to him "You're late". This saying in itself can prove that this meeting actually happened by showing that it had been pre-meditated. The devil, Faith, and Brown all knew...
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