Young Goodman Brown Character Analysis

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Characterization in Young Goodman Brown In the story “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the literary element of characterization can be found all throughout the text. The story centers around Goodman Brown, a man that is tempted to make a trip into the forest. He and his wife Faith are both unsure whether Brown should take this journey, as they fear what it might do to his faith in God. Brown sets off anyway, and he soon encounters a normal looking old man with life-like serpent walking stick. From this point forward, Goodman Brown’s faith is tested, and the journey he endures changes his outlook on the Christian religion completely. The reader can infer at every mention of character change that Goodman Brown’s faith will undergo …show more content…
Brown is pulled in as well, and he finds Faith among the new converts when the Devil tells them to look upon each other. “They did so; and, by the blaze of the hell-kindled torches, the wretched man beheld his Faith, and the wife her husband, trembling before that unhallowed altar.” (par. 64). Just as the Devil is about to baptize Faith, Goodman Brown seemingly wakes up from the nightmare in the forest. The next morning, Brown can only wonder if he dreamed the entire experience, as he walks around town and notices that everything is normal. However, Goodman Brown’s outlook to everyone, including to his own wife Faith changes; “But Goodman Brown looked sternly and sadly into her face, and passed on without a greeting.” (par. 70). Brown will retain this mindset for the rest of his life, an there is no way for his wife or the townspeople to help him. In Conclusion, “Young Goodman Brown” is a tale that centers around character change. Brown is convinced into taking the expedition into the forest, and the evidence that he finds is enough for him to change his viewpoint for good. No matter what Goodman Brown dreams was real or not, the Devil was able to penetrate his mind and sway him into his arms. In the end, Goodman Brown dies a hopeless man. The Narrator explains, “they carved no hopeful verse upon his tombstone; for his dying hour was gloom.” (par.