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Young Goodman Brown Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 46 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Young Goodman Brown.
This section contains 497 words
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Themes

"Young Goodman Brown" tells the story of a Puritan man who loses faith in humankind after he thinks he witnesses his wife and respected members of his town participating in a Black Mass. His experience dooms him to a life of gloom and mistrust.

Guilt vs. Innocence

Hawthorne presents Young Goodman Brown's evening of diabolical revelry as the first and last fling with evil the inexperienced young man ever has. Early in the story, Brown says: "after this one night I'll cling to [Faith's] skirts and follow her to heaven." He believes Faith is an "angel" and one of the Puritan elect who is destined for heaven.

Unfortunately, Brown's experience in the forest makes him reject his previous conviction of the prevailing power of good. He instead embraces the Devil's claim—"Evil is the nature of mankind"— by crying out "Come, devil: for to thee is this world given...

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This section contains 497 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Young Goodman Brown Study Guide
Copyrights
Young Goodman Brown from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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