Young Goodman Brown

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Young Goodman Brown

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” is a dark story written in the form of an allegory. In the story, Brown believed his community was true in their devotion to God. Additionally, Brown believed he had a strong Puritan faith. However, the journey we were taken on, through the dark gloomy woods of Salem, in time, showed the reader that Brown was not as strong in his faith as he thought himself to be. Moreover, the respectable people of the town were not who Brown assumed them to be. Brown was confronted with temptation, in which he would have several chances to turn back, but his curiosity eventually got the best of him. “Young Goodman Brown” is a story representing people being confronted with everyday temptations. Nathaniel Hawthorne used setting, internal conflict and symbolism to describe the struggle between Brown’s feeling of uncertainty and the evil trying to pull him in.

Depending on how the story is viewed, two settings could be considered. The first setting would be Brown’s house and the second setting would be the forest. The first setting took place in 1692, around the time of the Salem Witch Trials in Salem, Massachusetts, at the home of Young Goodman Brown. The setting at the home of Brown does not have much of a description. The only thing described was the threshold where Brown tilted his head back to kiss his wife goodbye. The scene at Brown’s home could be viewed at as symbolizing his uncertainties about surrendering to the devil’s evil customs. In spite of Browns indecisive conscious to take the journey or not, Brown submitted to his impulse to follow an evil path and embarked on his journey into the woods.

The path into the woods, where the second setting takes place, is described as being, “darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest, which barely stood aside to let the path creep through, and closed immediately behind” (Hawthorne 265). The description of the woods could be...
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