In the story “Young Goodman Brown” takes place in the late 1600’s during the witch trail. The story opens at sunset; sunset is symbolizing darkness. This is essential because this is a time of shadows the beginning of the night. This is when Goodman came outside form his house in Salem Village. As Brown leaves his wife, Faith at home. The name of Faith is intentionally used to symbolize the faith of god that both share and what Brown is leaving behind to go on his journey.
Goodman Brown is a christian, who has just recently married to Faith. He takes honor up on his family’s history of a good name in the public as godly men. His interest, however, leads him to accept a temptation from a mysterious travel to observe an evil ceremony in the middle of the forest, one that will shock and discourage him. Faith is Goodman’s wife that sees her as wise. Although Goodman claims to have had disturbing thoughts and illusions, seeing her at the evil ceremony in the woods prompts him to question his wife’s righteousness. In the story there was an old man in the woods that was considered to be the devil, who tempts Goodman into attending the ceremony in the forest. He sees through the Salem Villages’ charade of Christian piety and prides himself on the godly men he has been able to turn to evil. The minister and the Deacon Gookin, a respectable pillar of the community, appears to be a follower of the devil. Goody Cloyse in the story that is a citizen of the Salem Village, who was reveals herself as a witch. Cloyse is a christian women that teaches the young kids and teens about bible, but in secret she performs magic at the ceremony and attends witch meetings in the forest. Goody Cloyse was a name of an actual women who was trailed and convicted of witch craft during the historical Salem Witch Trials of 1692.
Goodman Brown says good bye to his wife, Faith, who is wearing a pink ribbon. He tells her that he has a little task to attend to night but doesn’t want him to go. She’s afraid that something will happen to her if she all alone. Goodman tells her to say her prayers and go to sleep early. As Goodman set off to the forest at sun set, he meets an Old Man that was good friends with Goodman’s father and grandfather. The Old Men intimates that he is the devil and offers to give Goodman his walking stick, which is carved in the shape of a snake. Goodman tell the devil that him and his father always been good christian men. When him and the devil walk more father in the forest the they were coming across Goody Cloyse. Goodman tries to hide from her, so he can avoid discussing why he was walking with these Old Men in the forest at night. Not knowing that Goody Cloyse comes up and haves a little chat with the Old Men, she confirms that the Old Men is indeed the devil and says she a witch. She told the devil that she was on her way to the ceremony, where two new members will be welcome into a dark cult. Goodman seen more people from the village like the preachers and the governor’s wife. Grappling with this information, Goodman looks up to see a pink ribbon float down from a branch. Goodman found himself in the forest, in the morning. Had the whole thing that happen last night was a dream or did it really happened? Not having no proof that it was he went back to the village, where he’s disgusted by the sight of the preacher preparing his sermon and Goody Cloyse teaching a little girl her prayers. He came to is home, he refuses to talk to Faith, who is again wearing her pink ribbons. He life changes his way of thinking and not trusting other people in his village, not even his own wife. He lives out the rest of his life in suspicion and despair and dies a lonely, bitter old man.
There’s a lot of symbols in the story. The pink ribbon that was on Faiths head is a symbol of innocence and gaiety. The color pink is associated with being sweet, playful, and childlike. The ribbon itself are modest, innocent decoration. When Goodman see the ribbons floating down from heaven that he has lost his faith and that innocence has been tainted with evil. The staff symbolizes a type of deception of sin. The devil asked him to take the staff twice. After the devil gets done talking to Goody Cloyse, the devil tells Goodman to take it for comfort and Goodman takes it. In life it’s easy to give in to the evil and take a shortcut than standing up for what is right. Brown’s wife name Faith is a symbol of his faith and when he thinks he has lost her, he also lost his actual faith. Young Goodman Brown symbolizes the innocence of young, good man, who are all tempted and to some extent give in. The forest, to be the habitat of the devil.
The fight between good and evil under the extension of discouraging to one’s faith and cave into the evil of life. As Brown turn away from his community, Brown unknowingly embraces the evil of insensitivity and selfishness. Man vs. man is the situation where Brown and his unreasonable demands on other people to be what he thinks they are or should be. At the end of the story it seems to suggest that it was a dream, but it don’t make any difference. He still thinks his town is evil. It’s still questionable if he confrontation with the devil or only dreamed it. It is easy to assume that everyone in the village are at the witches’ Sabbath they are therefore cruel and wicked people as individuals. Sin in the story has a more virtue of being human (May). The events in the Forest are open to interpretation. Not sure what happen in the forest really happen. If he wakes up with Faiths pink ribbon in his hand, then it might be believable. Brown does not have no proof of what happen in the woods. Does it make him evil himself sense he was in the forest with the devil? Yes, it does because he made a chose to see the devil. He looks at everyone else’s false but not his own. He needs to look in the mirror, they might have been in the forest for some reason you were.
The irony of the story is when Goodman thinks that Faith is going to get him to heaven by clinging to “skirts” of faith rather than by virtue of his own character or actions (Hurley). “she’s a blessed angel on earth; and after this one night I’ll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven (Hawthorne).” He notices that it would kill her if she were to know the purpose of his trip, but he assumes that his departure from Faith will be only be temporary. Goodman thinks in his heart and mind that his journey in the forest will make him stronger that symbolize the withdrawal into oneself. Goodman does not become aware of his own kinship with evil, he does not see evil in himself but only in others (Hurley).
During the 1600’s witchcraft was portrayed as being worshipers of the devil, who engaged in such meetings known as Witches Sabbaths. Goodman left his wife to go join one in the woods, but still thinks his holy and perfect then the town and his wife and don’t trust any one of them. Goodman shouldn’t think everyone in his village is evil, due to the fact that he does know if that night even happen or it was all in a dream.