Scattered, also, among their pale-faced enemies, were the Indian priests, or powows, who had often scared their native forest with more hideous incantations than any known to English witchcraft. The figure tells them to look at the congregation, and describes the hypocritical piety of all the people assembled there, whom Goodman Brown and the veiled woman have looked up to. However, he still looks to another person rather than to his God or personal convictions. Goodman Brown is as hypocritical as his father and grandfather; he wants to be thought of as good, and so he steps into the forest to avoid being seen by Goody Cloyse. This story is about a man who challenges his faith in himself and in the community in which he resides.
I've added paragraph numbers for easy reference. Founded by Puritans seeking religious tolerance, Salem quickly became a repressive society where those who did not follow sanctioned behavior were violently punished. Or, verily, I marvel not, seeing that the least rumor of the sort would have driven them from New England. The good old minister was taking a walk along the graveyard, to get an appetite for breakfast and meditate his sermon, and bestowed a blessing, as he passed, on Goodman Brown. Take my staff, if you are so soon weary. A supposedly good man is tempted by evil and allows himself to be converted into a man of evil.
Finallly, near the climax of the story, the Devil's altar is symbolic of the sins the people of Salem have committed, as they have essentially sacrificed their souls to the Devil. Obviously, the dark and dreary road, narrow path and closed the way behind means Brown is surrounded by evils and he cannot return any more. It vexed him the more, because he could have sworn, were such a thing possible, that he recognized the voices of the minister and Deacon Gookin, jogging along quietly, as they were wont to do, when bound to some ordination or ecclesiastical council. In this way, seventeenth and eighteenth century gravestones were more than memorials to the dead: they were sermons to the living. The tale opens in a doorway as the reader is presented with two lovers saying goodbye. I would not, for twenty old women like the one hobbling before us, that Faith should come to any harm.
The forest is a symbol of the unknown. Well; she's a blessed angel on earth; and after this one night, I'll cling to her skirts and follow her to Heaven. When they copy the beliefs of the people around them, their faith becomes weak and rootless. Of this fact, however, Goodman Brown could not take cognizance. In writing, describe the images you see list the characters, objects, actions, and settings, as best you can, on each one. Some scholars have suggested that this family legacy may have been what sparked Hawthorne's interest in writing about - and criticizing - Puritan society. His wife, Faith, is described as pure and angelic.
First, the story happens at night and Brown backs to Salem village the next morning. In his writings Hawthorne questioned established thought—most specifically New England Puritanism and contemporary. What polluted wretches would the next glance show them to each other, shuddering alike at what they disclosed and what they saw! Oh, his voice would make me tremble, both Sabbath-day and lecture-day! Read over the following questions and with these in mind view the gravestones and read the epitaphs below. As the two of them walk through the deep forest in the darkening dusk, the narrator describes the man as ordinary and simply dressed, and considerably older than Goodman Brown. Whither, then, could these holy men be journeying, so deep into the heathen wilderness? He's now all too aware of the potential for hypocrisy contained in every member of the village. Sometimes it is used to great effect, while other times it only seems to muddle the meaning of a passage. They tell me that some of our community are to be here from Falmouth and beyond, and others from Connecticut and Rhode Island; besides several of the Indian powows, who, after their fashion, know almost as much deviltry as the best of us.
He shrank from the venerable saint, as if to avoid an anathema. She's on the way to an evil ceremony, where two new converts will be welcomed into a dark cult. Faith's pink ribbons are a symbol of purity and innocence. A stern, a sad, a darkly meditative, a distrustful, if not a desperate man, did he become, from the night of that fearful dream. In many ways, much of this tale is allegorical in nature, partly because of the mutability of all of the symbols.
He also describes the tragedy of human that has negative attitudes to sinful nature. In addition, he demonstrates the Puritan idea that all humans Young Goodman Brown Goodman Brown's actions in the story, Young Goodman Brown, are a key element to this story's theme. He calls out for her, and she answers with a scream. Hawthorne creates a stark contrast between the seemingly perfect young newlyweds and their sinister setting, Salem at nightfall. But Goodman Brown looked sternly and sadly into her face, and passed on without a greeting. In fact both stories could be interpreted being in the same town. In it, Hawthorne uses many elements as symbols to add significance throughout the chronicle.
We are a people of prayer, and good works to boot, and abide no such wickedness. However, she meets up with the Old Man in the forest, where she confirms that the Old Man is indeed the Devil and reveals herself as a witch. Goodman Brown alternately crouched and stood on tip-toe, pulling aside the branches, and thrusting forth his head as far as he durst, without discerning so much as a shadow. When Goody Cloyse, Deacon Gookin and the minister almost catch him in the woods, Goodman Brown worries more about how his piety appears to other people than he does about meeting with the devil. Welcome, again, my children, to the communion of your race! He cries out this famous quote to the wind, indicating that sin no longer strikes fear in him as it once did. Young Goodman Brown begins with a rosy outlook, with unshakeable faith in himself, his relationship, and his society. He realizes that Faith is going to the meeting, and he decides to attend the meeting too because all good is now gone.
It can be construed further as the journey into sin and darkness. Ironically, he cannot relieve his new mistrust of Faith and the other Puritans by questioning or accusing them, because to do so would be to admit to having seen them in the forest and to his own temptation by the devil: instead, he shrinks away from the deacon and stares wordlessly at Faith. It also might reveal that he feels everyone is capable of some evil, even if they appear to be the most pious in the community. This short story shows many signs of symbolism, such as the forest, the devil, the staff, the pink ribbons, Faith, sin, and guilt. The Broadview Anthology of Short Fiction.