Ravi B. Lucas

April 11, 2000

The Young GoodMan 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 canít 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 storyís 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. Goodmanís name also should not be overlooked because it is a double-edged sword as well. Hawthorne plays with Faithís name in that it symbolizes religious faith. Faith- Goodmanís wife- is seen as a pious woman who like Goodman, is deep into her religious beliefs. She is innocent like her religion. To indicate Faithís innocence, Hawthorne gave her pink ribbons to wear. These ribbons are important, because they expose Faithís 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. Goodmanís 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