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Plot summary[ edit ] The story begins at dusk in Salem Village, Massachusetts as young Goodman Brown leaves Faith, his wife of three months, for some unknown errand in the forest. Faith pleads with her husband to stay with her, but he insists that the journey must be completed that night.
In the forest he meets an older man, dressed in a similar manner and bearing a physical resemblance to himself. The man carries a black serpent -shaped staff. Deeper in the woods, the two encounter Goody Cloyse, an older woman, whom Young Goodman had known as a boy and who had taught him his catechism.
Cloyse complains about the need to walk; the older man throws his staff on the ground for the woman and quickly leaves with Brown. Other townspeople inhabit the woods that night, traveling in the same direction as Goodman Brown.
He then runs angrily through the forest, distraught that his beautiful Faith is lost somewhere in the dark, sinful forest. He soon stumbles upon a clearing at midnight where all the townspeople assembled. At the ceremonywhich is carried out at a flame-lit altar of rocks, the newest acolytes are brought forth—Goodman Brown and Faith.
They are the only two of the townspeople not yet initiated. Goodman Brown calls to heaven and Faith to resist and instantly the scene vanishes.
He loses his faith in his wife, along with all of humanity.
He lives his life an embittered and suspicious cynic, wary of everyone around him. In "Young Goodman Brown", as with much of his other writing, he utilizes ambiguity. To convey the setting, he used literary techniques such as specific diction, or colloquial expressions. Language of the period is used to enhance the setting.
Hawthorne gives the characters specific names that depict abstract pure and wholesome beliefs, such as "Young Goodman Brown" and "Faith". The inclusion of this technique was to provide a definite contrast and irony.
Hawthorne aims to critique the ideals of Puritan society and express his disdain for it, thus illustrating the difference between the appearance of those in society and their true identities.
The first part shows Goodman Brown at his home in his village integrated in his society. The third part shows his return to society and to his home, yet he is so profoundly changed that in rejecting the greeting of his wife Faith, Hawthorne shows Goodman Brown has lost faith and rejected the tenets of his Puritan world during the course of the night.
Believing himself to be of the elect, Goodman Brown falls into self-doubt after three months of marriage which to him represents sin and depravity as opposed to salvation. His journey to the forest is symbolic of Christian "self-exploration" in which doubt immediately supplants faith.
At the end of the forest experience he loses his wife Faith, his faith in salvation, and his faith in human goodness. Years later he wrote, "These stories were published However, there have been many other interpretations of the text including those who believe Hawthorne sympathizes with Puritan beliefs.
Author Harold Bloom comments on the variety of explanations; Stephen King has referred to the story as "one of the ten best stories written by an American".
He calls it his favorite story by Hawthorne and cites it as an inspiration for his O. Inthe story was adapted for the CBC radio program Nightfall.
Inplaywright Lucas Luke Krueger, adapted the story for the stage. It was produced by Northern Illinois University.
InPlayscripts Inc. It has since been produced by several companies and high schools.Young Goodman Brown returns to town in the morning, shaken by what he has seen. A series of tiny conflicts emerge, as Brown tries to resist the hypocrisy and devilish influences of his townspeople.
Okay, so we don't know how hypocritical and . Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Home / Literature / Young Goodman Brown / Young Goodman Brown Analysis Literary Devices in Young Goodman Brown. Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory For the most part, Hawthorne's narrator follows around young Goodman Brown.
But pay attention to that "for the . "Young Goodman Brown" is a short story published in by American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne. The story takes place in 17th century Puritan New England, a common setting for Hawthorne's works, and addresses the Calvinist /Puritan belief that all of humanity exists in a state of depravity, but that God has destined some to .
Young Goodman Brown, by Nathaniel Hawthorne Introduction Hawthorne's short story Young Goodman Brown is a tale of innocence lost. Set in New England during the Puritan era, the protagonist, Goodman Brown, goes for a walk in the woods one night and meets the devil who tells him. Nathaniel Hawthorne's 'Young Goodman Brown' is a short story that's rich in meaning.
In this lesson, we'll go over the plot points, themes, characters, and symbols. Overview of 'Young Goodman Brown'.
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Young Goodman Brown, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.