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Young Goodman Brown

Essay by   •  April 12, 2011  •  1,384 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,004 Views

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Young Goodman Brown is an allegory that basically defines the struggle of good and evil. It represents the innate desires of the subconscious human mind and uses characters and locations to personify abstract ideas. Young Goodman Brown's perception of good and evil changes during the course of story as a result of his journey through the "dark forest" which ultimately destroys him; contrary to what he believed would happen.

In the beginning of the story Goodman Brown leaves his wife Faith (who represents faith itself) to venture into a dark forest which represents all that is evil. He is a puritan who has been raised in what he believes to be a wholesome and good environment shielded from all that is corrupt. His lack of exposure to anything that is bad creates an obsolete image in his mind of his town (which is that they are the epitome of good). His view of evil is likely what he has seen in the bible-things that are blatant. In today's world we are exposed at a young age to the evil that humans are capable of. The news and personal experiences allow us to keep our guard up from a young age. It is essential to achieve equilibrium in order to grow as individuals. We are aware of both good and evil and can choose the path we wish to take.

As Goodman Brown ventures into the forest he initially does not recognize that his guide is the devil. As he travels deeper and deeper everyone that he associated with being good, everyone who has molded him into the religious man that he is today turns out to be corrupt and walks on the path of darkness. Instead of allowing that experience to teach him tolerance and understand that anyone can have skeletons in their closet he instead believes that all of the world is evil and becomes a cynic. Once again he has never been exposed to anything debauched and he holds many that he knows at much too high an esteem. He cannot tolerate the idea of his beloved Faith partaking in anything even remotely sinful. He has been programmed to think this way and this is his downfall. It is human nature to be sinful and in order to grow from this experience and truly be enlightened he must go into it with an open mind. It is by no fault of his own that he walks away with an eternal hatred and distrust for mankind, it is because he had no initial experience with anything of such harsh nature. As a result, he is now a cynical and miserable human being who loses his faith and no longer believes in good and only believes in evil. He believes that if God existed than there would not be so much evil in the world. Just as all the others joined the colt (as I will refer to) after seeing the nature of evil he will likely do the same.

If I were put into his situation I would have reacted quite differently by all means. I am well aware of what humans are capable of and I am aware of good and evil as well as the forms they come in. Nothing surprises me. All of my life my father was my role model-he was the best dad any girl could ask for. I was daddy's little girl and nothing would ever change that, and it hasn't. I never in all of my life would have ever thought of my dad as a cheater, but sure enough he was having an affair with my mom's best friend. This was something I could not have believed in a thousand years; my hero, my amazing fun loving dad having an affair with none other than his best friend' wife (my mother best friend). That is just one of countless things I have endured in my short lifetime that awakens me to the harsh realities of human capabilities. Due to my experience I would not have been surprised-hurt, yes, but I would not have given up on life, love, and faith. I would chalk it up as a test to my faith because God is my only truth. In the end if I follow him I will be granted eternal happiness and nothing can take that away. I would allow it to make me stronger and hold onto my faith closer because God will ultimately guide me in the correct path if I listen.

Evil does not always come in the most obvious of forms, in fact, it usually comes disguised as something good. Many of us are fooled by the wrapping and fall into the hole, in fact the majority do. I have been allowed, through my connection with Christ, to dig beneath the

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