Young Goodman Brown
Young Goodman Brown is a short story with a traditional plot structure pattern of exposition, rising action, conflict, climax, and dénouement. The exposition, as in traditional plot schemes, introduces the protagonist Young Goodman Brown in the opening sentence along with his wife Faith in the setting of a Salem Village. Right away the name of the protagonist and that of his wife Faith suggest that the story is likely to be one of internal conflict as Goodman and Faith are uncommon first names. In the beginning of the eighth paragraph Hawthorne begins his rising action scene when Brown sets out on “his present evil purpose.” The exposition is intertwined with the beginning of the rising action after Brown has set out on his evil purpose when the first evidence of the antagonist is revealed in the foreshadowing in the ninth paragraph when Brown states “what if the devil himself should be at my elbow!” This statement by Brown immediately revealed that the antagonist was about to be presented, the rising action would surely intensify, and that the conflict of the Goodman, and his wife Faith was to be more internal than external. The antagonist, the greatest of all possible characters to play that role in the devil, is revealed right after. Immediately after Brown meets him, the nature of the conflict of the story is brilliantly revealed as good versus evil when Brown states that Faith kept him back and made him late on his present evil purpose. The story goes on to elaborate more on the exposition of the antagonist by describing the devilish man Brown is traveling with, and his encounters with Brown’s ancestors, and prominent men of the community. This is how Hawthorne intensifies the rising action; when Brown is about to turn back in hopes to save face with his minister, he spots his teacher of catechism from his youth, Goody Cloyse, confirming Brown as a catholic man of God. Here the role of the antagonist as the devil is revealed,...
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