Perhaps the tale most illustrative of this fictional territory is "Young Goodman Brown," which appeared first in The New-England Magazine (April 1835). Set in the period just preceding Salem's infamous witch trials (1692), the tale introduces a curious and confident quester who seeks to discover something about reputed occult activities in the nearby Salem forest. The quest of Young Goodman Brown, a bridegroom married only three months to a young woman named Faith, transforms him from a trusting man into a doubting, despairing, and gloomy husband, neighbor, and townsman. What he sees or believes he sees (or perhaps only dreams about) during his night in the forest wrenches him free of all his moorings. Because he saw or believed he saw (or dreamed about) his pastor, wife, and fellow churchmen preparing to become communicants in a witches' Sabbath, he halts his quest, rushes wildly through the forest, and hears a blasphemous assertion: "Evil is the nature of mankind. Evil must be your only happiness. Welcome,
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