Thus much of Hawthorne’s short tales, Young Goodman Brown is filled with symbolic undertones, in that it is explicit that the characters and actions represent abstract qualities.
As Goodman Brown begins on his journey into the forest, a “fellow-traveler” strolls with him, who it is apparent to be the Devil. The journey into the woods itself has symbolic significance, as is made plain when Goodman Brown responds to the demand of the Devil to go farther into the woods. It appears then that Goodman Brown is pleased and pleased of his own “goodness,” as represented by his name. For him, in his imaginings, a minimum of, he is a “good male.” The journey into the forest, therefore, is representative of engaging with evil. Also, we see how the Devil reacts to this affirmation of honesty.Vital to this story and so a number of Hawthorne’s tales is the belief of the evilness of humankind, nevertheless exemplary it pretends to be.
Hawthrone makes it explicit that sin affects everybody, including the apparently “Goodman” Brown. There is a touch of irony to be understood at those recommendations to Brown’s member of the family. Brown affirms that he originates from a long line of truthful and upright people of the Puritan society and the Devil concurs and raises 2 examples. He mentions, “I assisted your grandpa, the constable when he lashed the Quake woman so wisely through the streets of Salam.” To Brown’s ears, the efforts of his grandfather are fantastic due to the fact that Quakers were not of the real faith and required to be disciplined for their tradition of their differing spiritual views. But we as readers realize that Hawthorne is representing the narrow-minded and evil behavior of the Puritans.
The 2nd example portrays that the Devil recommends that it was he that “brought [Brown’s] dad a pitch-pine knot, kindled in [his] own hearth, to set fire to an Indian town.” When once again, Brown recognizes his father’s action versus the innocent Indians as an appropriate thing, since the primitive Indians were “bad,” and Hawthorne is newly depicting the paradox of these people’s actions. In the name of assumed good, they are causing evil.
The Devil is permanently affected by unethical conduct, usually at the direction of “doing the ideal thing.” Understanding Hawthorne’s tone and his rhetorical position are vital to a sharp perception of his stories.When the Devil requests that Goodman Brown follow him into the woods, Brown identifies that it is simply too far and that his dad and grandpa had actually never ever continued into the forest on such a corrupt job, so he should not do so either. Brown affirms that” [they] have been a race of honest guys and great Christians.” He presumes that if he follows the Devil into the woods, he would be the very first of his household to do so.
Nonetheless, the Devil thinks in a different way. In truth, he insists that he has been well-acquainted with Brown’s household. As an example, the Devil had actually supported Brown’s grandpa in striking a Quaker female and Brown’s father in damaging an Indian village.