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Young Goodman Brown

by Expert Dr.Stephanie.Ph.D | 19 Oct 2017

Young Goodman Brown was written by American writer Nathaniel Hawthome. The story took place in New England which has been a common setting for Hawthome's works during the 1800s. The story took place on one late evening in the seventeenth century in Massachusetts. Young Goodman Brown was to leave his wife, Faith, for three months for him to meet a mysterious figure in the forest.

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It is implied in the plot of the story that Faith knows that something is happening but she does not want her husband to know about it. Young Goodman Brown goes to the forest to meet a mysterious traveler and they reach at a worship service. But the worship service turns to be a worship service that is for the devil, and not the usual worship service that Young Goodman Brown knows about.

Young Goodman Brown is then faced into choosing to be involved in a worship service intended for the devil to continue to worship God. That particular part of the story highlights the option of Young Goodman Brown to choose between what is right and wrong, God and Satan, and good and evil. Meanwhile, while in the forest, Young Goodman and the traveler bumps into an old woman who is well-known in the church. As the old woman sees the traveler with Young Goodman Brown, she shouted: "The devil!"

After that scene, the traveler said that the woman has just finished worshiping the devil and is on her way to practice the worship of the devil. The story of Young Goodman Brown depicts the struggle of choosing the good over the evil. At the duration of the story, Young Goodman Brown has always thought that almost everyone in their neighborhood is innocent of what is happening. He is confident that no one he knows would get involved in the worship service. But then, his assumptions are all wrong. As he reached the worship service, he also saw his wife there.

The traveler gave Faith his cane and after that, Young Goodman Brown's wife disappeared instantly. The traveler's name was never revealed all through out the story. But then, there were clues provided in the story that the traveler is actually Satan or his representation, perhaps. The story emphasized that Young Goodman Brown was able to resist the charms of the devil and he still opted to worship God. The traveler deceived Young Goodman Brown at first and played that as if he is innocent. Young Goodman Brown believed the traveler at first as just someone who needs company into the woods. Young Goodman Brown has no idea that they will go into a worship service for the devil. The story also underscored how strong faith could help a person. Only if Young Goodman Brown's faith is not that strong, no doubt, he will end up would end up worshiping the devil. The whole neighborhood was actually tempted to worship the devil. It was only Young Goodman Brown who never dared to worship devil over God.

The story depicted our classic struggle on choosing between what is right or wrong, and what is good or bad. In our everyday lives, we are faced with these kinds of situations. Sadly, too often, we fail to hold on to our faith. We would end up choosing what is wrong because it is the most practical action in our problem. But then, it is not always the right choice. In every decision that we make, we should first think if it's really good and if it's really towards the teachings of God. "Devilish" decisions would only bring us harm.

Reference:

Learn more:
Young Goodman Brown’s walk Young Goodman Brown: A Depiction on Puritan Life Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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