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Young Goodman Brown: Morality

  • Date Submitted: 05/09/2011 08:02 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 62.6 
  • Words: 899
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Throughout Young Goodman Brown, the characters morals become increasingly ambiguous. It is difficult to distinguish between the good and evil characters because Hawthorne revises the entire plot by revealing that it may have been a dream. In order to discern the nature of each character, the reader must complete the entire story, and even then, it is still debatable. Hawthorne makes it difficult for the reader to discern good from evil, by causing the reader to question whether or not it was all a dream.
Goodman Brown observes many distinguished members of the church in the woods that night. It is revealed to him that they are no holier or more righteous than anybody else. The devil is Goody Cloyse’s old friend, the minister of the church is also an acquaintance, and many people’s secret deeds are revealed. Because of everybody’s falsity, Brown distrusts everyone from town. These supposed children of God, are truly cohorts of the devil. Assuming the night’s events were actually fantasy, then all the citizens of Salem have been falsely abhorred by a wretched man because of his inability to discern the truth from his imagination.
Faith can be seen as a completely clean-handed woman. She supposedly knows nothing about her husband’s journey. However, Brown hears her in the forest talking to people from the town about “…some favor, which would grieve her to obtain…” (Hawthorne). Faith does not want to turn to the devil, but she seems willing to make a bargain. The specifics of the conversation are never known; therefore Faith’s character can never truly be determined. Faith later meets with her husband at the ceremony, as it seems she is also there to be baptized, but it is also unknown whether or not she accepts the communion. In the end Faith becomes estranged by her bitter husband, and becomes a victim of her husband’s disaffection.  
However Faith can also be seen as elusive and deceitful. She is supposedly kept in the dark about her husband’s journey, but...

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