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Young Goodman Brown Thematic Essay

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Young Goodman Brown Thematic Essay

Throughout ones journey in life, our individual perceptions of faith in God, in mankind, and in ourselves, guide us along our path. In life our faith is what keeps us going. A person's faith is not necessarily their religion, but can also be what they believe in or morals. Often times in life, events or people cause a person to lose faith in what they are doing or even in themselves. For example, a player on a football team goes into a game with their mind set on winning. During the game they lose the best player on the team on the first play of the game and the other team scores within seconds of the start of the game. Events like that during a game is enough to cause many players on the team to lose faith in themselves as well as the team. Our faith can also determine whether or not we overcome an obstacle in life. If a person believes strongly enough in what they are doing he will almost always come out of a situation victorious. In the Young Goodman Brown, his faith is tested throughout the story.

The story begins with Brown going off to the woods to meet up with the devil, but faith does not want him to go. In the story Brown's faith is symbolized by his wife Faith. When the devils asks Brown why he is late, he replies "Faith kept me back a while." His reply in a way has a double meaning. His wife Faith physically was the one who was trying to keep him back by asking him to remain with her, but Brown was determined to leave for the meeting. His puritan faith was also what was making him a little reluctant to leave for the meeting. He knew it was morally wrong and against all of his ideals and religious beliefs to meet up and converse with the devil, but left anyway. Religious ideals nowadays don't affect a person's lifestyle as much as used to back in the puritan times, but still has the same effect in some cultures and areas. The devil makes attempts to cause Brown to turn away from his faith by showing well respected people who have given into sin and accepted the devils offers. In the woods he sees his childhood religious instructor Goody Cloyse.

Despite her pious nature and her influence on Brown when he was a child, he finds out she too has fallen to sin and is in fact a witch. Goody Cloyse and the devil seem to be well acquainted. Brown hears from the devil's and goody's conversation about a meeting (Black Mass) that is going to take place in the forest. Goody asks for the devil's arm to walk her to the location of the mass, but instead the devil offers her a staff instead. Goody accepts the offer and leaves. By accepting the devils offer Goody has sinned.

Sin is the key factor in causing Young Goodman brown to question his faith. Many of the people Brown respect as religious figures have in one way or another conversed with the devil. In another incident in the woods the devil disappears for a little bit and Brown over hears the town's minister and Deacon



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