Young Good Man Brown

"Young Goodman Brown", by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a story that is rich
in metaphors which ultimately question the very morals and ethics of his
religious society. In "Young Goodman Brown," Goodman Brown is a proud

Puritan who meets with the devil that causes him to become aware of the society
he lives in. The story about Goodman Brown centers on a proud man who thinks
that a meeting with the Devil can’t alter his faith in religion. He also
desires to find more about his inner domains, but eventually finds out how
hypocritical his community is. The story’s crux is based upon religious
metaphors of Hawthorne\'s town of Salem during their religious conflict. The
beginning of the story mentions the Goodman\'s wife, Faith who has a double
meaning to her name. Goodman’s name also should not be overlooked because it
is a double-edged sword as well. Hawthorne plays with Faith’s name in that it
symbolizes religious faith. Faith- Goodman’s wife- is seen as a pious woman
who like Goodman, is deep into her religious beliefs. She is innocent like her
religion. To indicate Faith’s innocence, Hawthorne gave her pink ribbons to
wear. These ribbons are important, because they expose Faith’s character. Pink
is seen as a pleasant color that promotes no tension. Pink is not as violent as
red, or gloomy as black. In addition, there is "Goodman." His name
represents what his society thought of him. He was a religious good person, who
came from a long linage of prominent Puritans. "Young Goodman Brown"
begins when Faith, Brown\'s wife, pleads with him not to go on his
"errand." Goodman Brown says to his "love and my Faith"
(passage 5) that "this one night I must tarry away from thee" (passage

5). When he says his "love" and his "Faith," he is talking to
his wife, but he is also talking to his "faith" in God. He is
venturing into the woods to meet with the Devil, and by doing so; he leaves his
unquestionable faith in God with his wife. He resolves that he will "cling
to her skirts and follow her to Heaven" (passage 5). This is an example of
his excessive pride. He feels that he can meet with the Devil because of the
promise that he made to himself. There is tremendous irony to this promise
because when Goodman Brown comes back at dawn; he can no longer look at his wife
with the same faith he had in her before. Throughout literature, authors
continue to use metaphors like darkness, sunsets, colors, paths, and nature to
help illustrate their hidden thoughts. This tool is supposed to give the reader
the feeling of something evil, or negative commencing. Goodman’s errand sends
him off into the wild forest during the sunset where he is walking on a narrow
dark path that is easy to lose. The forest is a place where there are no rules
to life, and a place where nature can turn against civilized humans. When

Goodman Brown finally meets with the Devil, he declares that his reason for
being late was because "Faith kept me back awhile" (passage 10). This
statement has a double meaning because his wife physically prevented him from
being on time for his meeting with the devil, but his faith to God
psychologically delayed his meeting with the devil. The Devil had with him a
staff that "bore the likeness of a great black snake" (passage 10). The
staff is a reference to the snake in the story of Adam and Eve. The snake led

Adam and Eve to their destruction by leading them to the Tree of Knowledge. The

Adam and Eve story is similar to Goodman Brown in that they are both seeking
immeasurable amounts of knowledge. Once Adam and Eve ate from the Tree of

Knowledge, they were exiled from paradise. The Devil\'s staff eventually leads

Goodman Brown to the Devil\'s ceremony, which destroys Goodman Brown\'s faith in
his fellow man, therefore expelling him from his utopia. Goodman Brown almost
immediately declares that he kept his meeting with the Devil and no longer
wishes to continue on his errand with the Devil. He says that he comes from a
"race of honest men and good Christians" and that his father had never
gone on this errand and nor will he. Conversely, the Devil is quick to point out
that he was with his father and grandfather when they were whipping a woman or
burning an Indian village. These acts are ironic in that they were bad deeds
done in the name of good, or God