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Young Goodman Brown Short Summary

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Nathaniel Hawthorne gives the narration. Goodman Brown bids Faith, his wife goodbye outside their home. Faith is donning pink ribbons. Faith is scared that staying alone may make her have fearful thoughts. However, Goodman has to go. He tells Faith to pray for God’s protection. As Goodman leaves, he feels guilty that his wife may have an idea of his evil deeds. Goodman promises to be a better person.

What Else Is in the Story? Here is the Plot Overview

The journey takes Goodman through a thick forest. He fears that he might meet Satan or the Indians hiding behind the trees. After that, he comes across a man that seems to know him by the way they greeted. Everything seems to be normal about the man except the walking stick he has, which has an image of a curved serpent. The man offers Goodman the stick promising it can help Goodman walk faster. With the explanation that his family members are Christians, Goodman refuses the staff. The man tells Goodman how he knows people associated with Goodman, the stayer governor, and the church members.

Despite being confused, Goodman insists on his intention to go back to Faith. When Goodman sees Goody Cloyse, he hides because he is embarrassed. When the man taps Goody Cloyse, she identifies herself as a witch. Goodman insists he wants to go back to his wife. Before going away, the man tells Goodman to rest. He also leaves Goodman the staff to use it in case he changes his decision.

Later, Goodman hears voices like one of Deacon Gookin. However, Goodman still wants to stay truthful to the ways of God for the sake of his wife. He also hears a voice that sounds like that of Faith. Since he feels that no one is good anymore, he grabs the staff to go to the ceremony. At the ceremony, trees are on fire. Among the many respected people and community priests, faith is not there. One of the converts that come later is faith. Though there are people who drag him to go forward among the converts, Goodman refuses. When Goodman instructs Faith to face heaven and resists the devil’s temptations, he finally finds himself all alone in the forest.

On Brown’s return to the village, he visualizes everyone as evil. Even Faith is not good in his eyes. It is not clear if the events were real, or it was a dream. Goodman lives a transformed life but doubts everyone.

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