Young Goodman Brown

Length: 4 Pages 979 Words

In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown,” Nathaniel Hawthorne gives the characters in the stories symbolic names and shows the naivety of Goodman Brown and how he changes his thinking at the end of his journey. Goodman Brown is very naïve. Goodman Brown thinks everyone in town is good and pure, including his wife, Faith, with the pink ribbons. He calls Faith “a blessed angel on earth”(379) and says after his journey, he will not leave her again until death separates them. Goodman Brown also demonstrates naivety when he thinks that he is the only one that has searched for evil in the forest. He says “My father never went into the woods on such an errand, nor his father before him. We have been a race of honest men and good Christians, since the days of the martyrs. And shall I be the first of the name of Brown, that ever took this path”(380). Goodman Brown says that his family were a prayerful people and would not “abide no such wickedness”(380). Young Goodman Brown’s name is very important to the person he is, as well as the person he becomes. Each of the three parts of Young Goodman Brown’s name has meaning of their own. Young, for example, is symbolic to his age. He says, “What, my swe Continue...


Goodman Brown leaves his faith, security, and home behind for a meeting with the devil. Remaining characters in the story such as Deacon Gookin and Goody Cloyse also have significant meanings to their names. Goodman calls for the question of whether or not Goodman Brown is in fact a "good man. Goodman Brown's last name, Brown has symbolism in the color of it alone. This is shown when the devil "pointed his staff at a female figure on the path, in whom Goodman Brown recognized a very pious and exemplary dame, who had taught him catechism in youth, and was still his moral and spiritual adviser, jointly with the minister and Deacon Gookin (381). Pink appears to be a vibrant and lively color and can be seen in Faith's nature as she skips through the town. Both characters share an important role in their community. Nathaniel Hawthorne; an introduction and interpretation. His inability to do so affects the rest of his life. When he returns, he Deacon Gookin praying at home and he says "What God doth the wizard pray to (387) Brown is actually questioning whether Deacon Gookin is praying to the God that he recognizes. Faith's name not only is fitting to her character but also goes beyond to symbolize the Christian faith. The meeting affects Goodman Brown for the rest of his life, leaving him to question the faith and trust that he holds in the people with whom he lives.