"Young Goodman Brown" written by the American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne is a story about Goodman Brown, a man who adheres to Puritan beliefs. In this short story the author deals with one of the eternal themes which lies in the conflict between good and evil in every person.
The main character is Goodman Brown who is a paragon of virtue gets involved in a difficult journey to fulfill some mysterious task having said goodbye to his wife Faith, whose name is used both literally and symbolically by the author. He makes his way through the woods and meets a mysterious stranger who turns out to be the Devil.
They proceed through the dark forest while having a conversation full of hints and suspense. It is made quite clear that the purpose of the Goodman Brown's journey is taking part in some unholy ritual. On his way to the place of the meeting he experiences the inner conflict as he has to decide whether to join the procession of sinners who turn out to be the villagers of his native Salem or adhere to his beliefs rejecting any persuasion of those who give scandal to weaker brethren. Being bewildered and remembering his wife Faith he suddenly hears her voice in the woods and realizes that she also takes part in this procession to the mysterious ceremony. The thought that he lost his Faith (literally and symbolically) strikes Goodman Brown.
The story reaches its climax when the main character finally decides to stick to his religious beliefs and refuses to enter the sinful circle although he sees his wife among the sinners. When Goodman Brown arrives back to the village the next morning he is confused whether everything that happened at night was reality or a nightmare. Nevertheless, he cannot view his neighbors and his wife as he used to because the memories of the unholy ceremony printed on his mind. So he lives long life among sinners realizing that his unrealistic belief of public goodness is ruined.
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