The Awareness of Evil Creates a Gloomy Life
As children people seem to know nothing about the presence of evil on earth. The only “bad guys” we see or are aware of are on television or in comic books. Eventually everyone experiences certain events in their lives that change their whole perspective on life. We all become aware of evil on earth. This knowledge can either bring us down or we can brush it off and go on with our lives. In “Young Goodman Brown” a young man is confronted with life altering events that change his perspective of the world and the people of Salem village. These events, and the knowledge gained from them, create a miserable life for Brown. Hawthorne uses supernatural events, the uncertainty created by the dark forest setting, and encounters with trusted moral advisors to cause the rest of Brown’s life to become gloomy.
First of all, Hawthorne uses supernatural events to make the rest of Goodman Brown’s life gloomy. For example, Brown encounters a “black cloud mass” from which the “accents of the townspeople…, men and women, both pious and ungodly…”(56) were emanating. The voices of the townspeople coming from such an evil place lead Brown to believe all of the people he knows are evil. The people he knows well and interacts with on a daily basis are all living an evil lie. Brown’s life becomes gloomy because he can no longer live happily with the people he knows, and he can never trust them as friends or good Christians again. Furthermore, Faith’s pink ribbons “flutter[ing] lightly down through the air”(56) and landing on a branch further move Brown toward a gloomy life. The ribbons belong to his wife, whom he loves and trusts. After the ribbons fall Brown believes Faith is part of the evil of the Devil as well, and he cannot live a happy life with this horrible knowledge. His life becomes gloomy after this event 2/4...
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