Young Goodman Brown

             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 sweet, pretty wife, dost thou doubt me already, and we but three months married”(378) which shows the readers that he is not very experienced in life. Goodman calls for the question of whether or not Goodman Brown is in fact a “good man.” Although this appears to be Brown’s first time to leave his Faith, both his wife and his religion, it puts a damper on the way he is looked upon as a good man. The last name Brown directly describes the nature of his character. After his encounters in the forest, Brown becomes a depressed and distrustful man. Goodman Brown’s last name, Brown has symbolism in the color of it alone. The color brown, which is a mixture of black and white, symbolizes the good and ...

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Young Goodman Brown. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 04:44, January 20, 2017, from