Ogawa 1Ryan OgawaProfessor Neta HoffEnglish 1111 March 2016Short Story Analysis of “Young Goodman Brown”Faith is an important concept in the short story, “Young Goodman Brown” by NathanielHawthorne. In the story, the protagonist Young Goodman Brown has a short conversation withhis wife Faith and then goes into the dark forest, where he meets with a character that resemblesboth Brown and the Devil. On his journey with the Devil, Goodman Brown comes across afellow villager, Goody Cloyse, whom he is surprised to see is going to attend the Devil’sgathering. Later, he discovers a witches’ Sabbath where the minister, the deacon, and evenBrown’s wife are in attendance. Goodman Brown calls out to his wife and the scene dissolves.He turns back and returns to the village. The next morning, the narrator questions whether theprevious night was a dream or a reality for Goodman Brown. However, Brown is foreverchanged by the incident and suspicious of others. Ultimately, he ends up dying a hopeless man,having lost all of his faith in his wife, the villagers, and even God. The recurring motif of faiththat the author uses plays an important role in conveying the moral of this story.First of all, Faith is the name of Goodman Brown’s wife’s. In the beginning of the story,Faith tells Goodman Brown not go on his journey but to stay back home with her. Also, duringthis scene, the narrator notes that Faith was wearing a pink ribbon. The speaker reintroduces thepink ribbon when Goodman Brown is in the forest, struggling with his doubts about the goodnessof all the villagers he knows are meeting with the Devil. When the pink ribbon flutters downfrom the sky, Goodman Brown perceives it as a sign that Faith has definitely given in to the
Ogawa 2devil. He says, “My Faith is gone...There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name.