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Evil in Young goodman brown Essay


Young Goodman Brown

The main character in Nathaniel Hawthornes short story Young Goodman Brown experiences a revelation about the hidden enticement of evil that exists in humanity, both in himself and in others, and begins to lose faith in the purity and sanctity of his fellow townspeople. Goodman first sees the natural temptation of evil in himself when he finds himself entering the woods of the wicked ones for one night of evil before a life of purity. He constantly doubts whether or not he should proceed with his actions or turn back while he still had the chance and promises himself that after this one night Ill cling to her (Faiths) skirts and follow her to heaven. As he and the old man proceed in the woods, Goodman sees this same evil in those whom he thought were among the holiest here on earth. He sees his catechism teacher fly off on a staff, his Deacon ride to the center of evil on horseback, and then he finds what he thinks is the ribbon of his beloved Faith fall from the sky. These people are all the quintessence of what he thought was holy left on this earth and acting nonchalant as they were wont to do, when bound to some ordination or ecclesiastical council.

As Goodman gradually uncovers this hidden evil in this world, he begins to go mad. At the point of finding the pink ribbon, Goodman begins to go mad from this newly uncovered hidden evil he found in all that was left on this earth that he felt was holy: His Faith. He shouts, My Faith is gone! There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name. Come, devil; for to thee is this world given. This highlights Goodmans disbelief at the evil he had found and how he had lost all hope of holiness on earth. He then ran through the woods maddened with despair as he screamed "Let us hear which will laugh loudest. Think not to frighten me with your deviltry. Come witch, come wizard, come Indian powwow, come devil himself, and here comes Goodman Brown. You may as well fear him as he fears you." This highlights his disbelief and despair of finding that even those with which he had worshipped with Sabbath after Sabbath and at that point, he gives in to the ever looping cycle of unholy temptation in humanity.

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