Theme Analysis: Young Goodman Brown

Topics: God, Good and evil, Salem witch trials Pages: 2 (681 words) Published: April 18, 2014

Word Count: 691

The main conflict between good and evil is the basic theme of the story Young Goodman Brown. Goodman Brown has to deal with this struggle one dark night. Though many different elements the story gives the idea that man constantly faces and inner battle between good and evil, and that it is much easier to stray away from the path of good than it is to stay one it. The characters themselves are very important to the true meaning of the story. First we have the name ‘Goodman’, when taken apart, it is ‘good man’, and brings to light the thought that he is a responsible person. A second important character in the story is Goodman’s wife, Faith whose name also has a symbolic meaning. Not only is she his wife, but she also represents his religious beliefs. Before he leaves on his journey Faith tries to get him to stay home as if she did not have faith in him. Goodman thinks to himself, “Poor little Faith” (305). He feels that she does not believe he can make the trip and still stay pure. When he arrives to the forest the gentleman waiting for him asks him why he was late, Goodman responds, “Faith kept me back a while” (305). This could mean that not only did his wife hold him back, but his inner struggle with his faith is also holding him back. The story takes place in a forest near Salem, Massachusetts, known for the Salem Witch Trials. Forest are known for being dark and mysterious places where anything can be lurking. As he is walking along, Goodman says to himself, “There may be a devilish Indian behind every tree…What if the devil himself should be at my very elbow!” (305). Incidentally Goodman does come across a stranger in the woods who turns out to be the Devil. As they travel deeper and deeper into the forest Goodman because more and more weary. When he is separated from everyone and left alone, he looks up to the heavens to pray, “With Heaven above, and Faith below, I will yet stand firm against the devil!” (310). By this he is saying...
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