Young Goodman Brown
It is a short story published in 1835. The story was written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The plot takes place in Puritan New England. Hawthorne describes the main protagonist’s inner struggle to maintain his religious faith.
SUMMARY-Young Goodman Brown
Goodman Brown bids farewell to his beautiful wife Faith. She asks him to stay with her because she is afraid to be alone. Goodman tells her that he will be away for just one night. She must remember to say her prayers and to go to bed early if she does this no harm will come. Goodman thinks that his wife has guessed the evil purpose of his travel because he promised her that after this night he will be a better man.
Goodman is on his way through murky forest looking around. He is scared because he thinks there might be Indians or the devil himself. Soon, he meets a man. He says hello to Goodman like he was expecting him. The man looks normal. He is wearing some regular clothes except for one thing: his walking stick. It features a carved serpent which is so authentic that it looks like it is alive.
The man offers the walking stick to Goodman saying that he will walk faster and easier. Goodman refuses the offer. He says that he agreed to come to their meeting but he will not touch the stick and he wants to return home as soon as possible. Goodman tells the man that his family members are very good Christians for generations and that he does not want to be associated with them. The man tells him that he knew his grandfather and father and the governor and the members of churches.
These words confused Goodman. He says to the man that he wants to return back to his wife Faith. In that moment, an old limping woman came. The man and Goodman recognized her, it was Goody Cloyse. She was respected and pious woman in the village. Goodman tries to hide because he is embarrassed to be seen with the man. But the man taps Goody on the shoulder. Goody recognizes him as the devil and she reveals herself as a witch. She was on the way to the sinful forest ceremony. In spite of Goody’s revelation, Goodman still wants to return home to Faith. The man says to Goodman to rest a little bit. He gives him his stick before he disappears. The man tells him that he is free to use the stick to get to forest faster. Goodman sits and hears the horses approaching. He hides. Goodman hears some voices. He recognizes the voice of the minister of the church and the voice of Deacon Gookin. Goodman is shocked. He promises to himself that he will stay true to God for Faith’s sake. He will not go to the forest ceremony. But he hears another voice. It is Faith’s voice. Surely, there is no good in the world because Faith has turned to evil. In that moment, he grabs the stick which pulls him quickly to the ceremony. He reaches the spot where the ceremony is taking place. The trees around the ceremony are on fire. Thanks to fire, he can recognize some of the people, all the respected members of his community. But Goodman cannot see where Faith is. He is hoping she is not there.