Young good man brown
By Nathaniel Hawthorne
In his deep and particularly dark short story, Young Goodman Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne explores a very real but uncomfortably thought of side of the human spirit. Set in the real town of Salem, Massachusetts where the historic Salem witch trials took place, this story looks into the depths of the spiritual battle being waged for the hearts and minds of humans. While at first glance the story is about a man's surreal late-night walk in the forest and his experience of a dark sort of witch meeting, the story uses these illustrations to show the symbolism of a man's dangerous attraction to evil. The story is narrated by Goodman Brown and shows his adventure into the woods leaving his young wife Faith behind for the night.
Goodman Brown could represent anyone, he is basically the everyman. The symbolism starts to build at the very beginning of the story. Goodman Brown is first described as young and newly married. His wife's name is Faith, a detail that bears significance to the theme. Within the context of the story, we could easily see Goodman Brown as a believer, a follower of God, albeit a young one. His connection to "Faith" is also young and still being established. He does not yet completely cling to faith, which can be seen from his thoughts about leaving on this "journey", away from his wife Faith for the evening. “Poor little Faith!" thought he, for his heart smote him. "What a wretch am I, to leave her on such an errand!...Well; she's a blessed angel on earth and after this one night I'll cling to her skirts and follow her to Heaven.” Goodman Brown seems to have the intentions to come back and take care of his Faith, but he has to take care of a promise that Faith does not know about first. Upon having met up with his walking companion and being chided for lateness, Goodman Brown makes the comment "Faith kept me back awhile", a statement that is almost ominous within the