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Young Goodman Brown Archetypal Criticism

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Young Goodman Brown

Summary

The story takes place at a late evening in 17th century Salem, Massachussets, with young

Goodman Brown leaving his home and Faith, his wife of three months, to meet with a mysterious

figure deep in the forest. As he and this mysterious figure meet and proceed further into the dark

forest, it is broadly hinted that Goodman Brown's traveling companion is, in fact, the Devil, and

that the purpose of their journey is to join in an unholy ritual. Goodman Brown feels unwillingness

,yet they continue on. As their journey continues Brown finds out that others also proceeding to the

meeting, and many of them townsfolk whom he had considered exemplary Christians, including his

minister and deacon and the woman who taught him his catechism. He is astonished and

disheartened and determines, once again, to turn back. But now he hears his wife's voice and

realizes she is one of those to be initiated at the meeting. Recognizing that he had lost Faith

and his "faith", he carries out his original intention and joins the procession.

At the ceremony, carried out at a flame-lit, crude rocky altar in a clearing deep in the forest, the new

converts are called to come forth. He and Faith approach the altar and, as they are about to be

anointed in blood to seal their alliance with wickedness, he cries out to Faith to look to heaven

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