Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” is an absolutely great story. The story tells about one boy’s distinctive horrific trip through the forest in which he can’t decide if it was just a story and it was false or if this journey into the forest actually happened.
Essay Example on Young Goodman Brown
Young Goodman Brown’s evil experience about traveling into the woods seems to be some type of a visual symbolic meaning expressed through a dream. When Hawthorne says in the first paragraph of the story when the wife says, “prithee put off your journey until sunrise and sleeping your own bed tonight.” (Hawthorne, p. 294) would make it seem like he didn’t leave for his actual journey into the forest and that it actually might have been a dream inspired by the devil but later on in his next few sentences when Goodman says “What a wretch am I to leave her on such an errand………after this one night I’ll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven” (Hawthorne, p. 294). Goodman left his wife that night on his journey, so he did leave but he could have fallen asleep in the forest on a break.
Goodman’s journey wasn’t a dream vision telling him the truth about human nature. But a vision different from what he’s used to seeing, the vision is simply him realizing that everybody isn’t a good person. Being in the jungle and by it being dark, creepy, wild and full of different creatures it gives Goodman a different look at the world and what might be lurking deep in the forest. He simply feels that his choice between staying at home and going on his journey may have been a choice between good and evil.
Goodman’s journey is a symbolic acting out of his own paranoid fears and suspicions about others. The journey through the forest was his faith being tested between the godly and the ungodly and where will we go when we die which surfaces when the dark figure says, “welcome my children, to the communion of your race,” (Hawthorne, p. 300). The first sense of paranoia from Goodman is when he says to himself, “There may be a devilish Indian behind every tree,” as he looked behind himself fearfully saying “what if the devil himself should be at my very elbow.” this indicates that he was some what paranoid. Goodman was already shaken up and some what paranoid having evil thoughts, he could have just went into the woods and had taken a nap on the journey and his paranoia stimulated a bad dream about previous thoughts stemmed from previous thoughts.
Goodman’s thoughts about people going to hell for cheating on their spouse insinuates that he holds some form of regret about something in his relationship that he thinks he will be held accountable for that may send him to hell when he dies. “When the family knelt down at prayer he scowled and muttered to himself, and gazed sternly at his wife and turned away.” (Hawthorne, p. 302) relates to some form of regret or guilty conscience of not being able to look someone in the eyes or even in the face when they know they had done wrong. Hawthorne’s vision of evil in this story is his own vision everyone’s view on evil is not the same his view was a hidden type of evil that has not surfaced all the way. Goodman was basically terrified of the though of being in the forest alone on a journey from dusk to dawn had frightened him. Anything could’ve happened to him Goodman could have died and his fear got the best of him.