Young Goodman Brown

Young Goodman Brown

Young Goodman Brown

  • Type of paperEssay (Any Type)
  • SubjectEnglish
  • Number of pages4
  • Writer levelUniversity
  • Format of citationMLA
  • Number of cited resources1

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Name BROWN (1)

In any work of literature, there are either dynamic or static characters. The character that is termed as being static is usually a minor character who does not show significant changes throughout the story. On the other hand, the one that undergoes maturation, physical, emotional, and mental changes, is termed as the dynamic character. They experience a realization in which there is a change that can only be termed as being either psychological or spiritual. The reason is that they undergo change. The characters are usually protagonists or antagonists. A dynamic character undergoes various changes as the narrative builds up. this is due to some conflicts they might encounter throughout the work of literature. Dynamic characters may face trials and tribulations and takes some time to learn from encounters, other characters, experiences, and mistakes they commit. A dynamic character plays a significant role in a narrative. Often it is the main character of the story. It helps to build a compelling and convincing story around it. They go through critical transitions like having significant experiences, pulling through trials, gaining maturity and feeling the change of the heart. They undergo a full transformation to become better than they were. They also develop likable qualities that are often unique from other characters’ in literature. All these changes bring a flavor to the storyline and an element of surprise to the readers.

In the story Young Goodman Brown, the main character, Goodman is shown as a naive and rebellious young man. He feels strong enough in his Puritan faith and dares to try it by accompanying a wicked older man with staff. We are told that the staff looked like a big black snake (Hawthorne, 9). They head together into the forest primeval where a black mass is supposed to happen. As they walk along the path, Brown gets to see Goody Cloyse and his catechist Deacon Gookin. The catechist is a valued member of the church and laughs as they talk of the new initiates into the Black Man’s fold. When they get to the forest, Brown gets to see his wife, Faith. He cries to her in a voice of “suffering and frustration (Hawthorne, 8). When Brown sees her pink ribbons waft through the wind, he exclaims loudly, “My Faith is gone!” (Hawthorne, 3). He then changes, awakening to a grim Calvinistic reality in which he is convinced in the depravity of human beings. Brown then becomes a “distrustful, if not a desperate man” henceforth (Hawthorne, 4)

In the story, Goodman Brown displays a character of being innocent and corruptible as well. He is mixed up as he vacillates between sticking with his belief in the goodness and kindness of the people he knew and acknowledging that the fiend had taken over the minds of everyone. At the outset of the story, Goodman Brown then holds on to the belief that his father and grandfather were nice people until the wicked old man comes to him and says that he knew them both, and they were not what he believed they were. Brown then sets to believe in the Christian nature of the minister, Goody Cloyse, and Deacon Gookin. The devil then comes again to him and shows him that Goody Cloyse is a witch, and Deacon Gookin and one other person are his followers. These occurrences show Brown’s lack of true religion as quickly as of the evil and better sides of human nature prevail. His belief is too easy to sway. In Young Goodman Brown, one can easily observe Christian fantasy. Hawthorne depicts Goodman as a youthful man who leaves his wife. The wife is ironically named Faith. He heads into the wilderness for the dark ceremony. The ceremony contains dark imagery of demons and many other devilish things. Goodman Brown, however, struggles with fear, exhaustion and choler. Hawthorne then sets the story to get to a phase where Goodman Brown is seen as descending a downward spiral that sends him straight to Hell.

The narrative serves as an example of what could make a good person like Goodman Brown turn into a wicked, foolish person. In this account, we see Goodman being dynamic through many occurrences. He gets to believe what he did not believe in initially. He loses his faith just like the other people. People have a dark depiction of a major Christian fear which is to succumb to the wishes of the deuce. The story shows how anyone could change from being who they were to a different person of an unfavorable character. This story seems to have been very frightening in its time. This is seen as the intended purpose of the author. It seems as if Hawthorne was trying to ignite fear in Christians who appeared to have been static. Young Goodman Brown is, therefore, a symbol of any other Christian, who could, as well, lose his faith and beliefs in the harshness of the real world. He changed as events proceeded to unfold. young Goodman Brown’s woes start when he starts to lose trust. It starts showing when he leaves his wife, Faith. This is when his downfall begins.

Other lines that depict him as being a dynamic character are: “But, irreverently consorting with these grave, reputable, and pious people, these elders of the church, these chaste dames and dewy virgins, there were men of dissolute lives and women of spotted fame, wretches gave over to all mean and filthy. who are of many vices and suspected of horrid crimes. It was strange to see that the good shrank not from the wicked, nor were the sinners abashed by the saints.” (Hawthorne, 6). Goodman Brown starts to see the sinister side of Salem Village in the ceremony. The offense of social boundaries is one of the most dominant and most irritating aspects of the dark event.

The Puritans faith had initially laid a very strong foundation for a society that was morally upright and had a strong belief in religion. Those with a high standing in the church and a high moral reputation were highly respected by other towns people. When Brown was telling the evil man about the goodness of his father and grandfather, he was trying to show how the society respected high morals and religious convictions. He was describing a society based on truth and morality, but he comes to realize it was not. He then decides to change from being a man of faith and becomes an evil person.

In the ceremony, Goodman is surprised to see the people he believed were good intermingling with those he believed were evil. When he sees the mingling of the two different types of people at the event, he is surprised. The event reveals the breakdown of the social club, which he had believed was too strong to break. This seems to change Goodman’s view on the Puritan religion. The society that had valued morality for too long now appeared to be gone.  Initially, Goodman appears to understand that whatever he was up to was a sin, but finally, he thinks that he I right and sin is only committed by other people. He is blinded by goodness believes that avoiding contact with other people would be the only solution. Like other characters in the story, he turns from a life-affirming participant to a mere observer of what is being done by others. His turns to a person whose pride is at the root of every sin. As the tale opens, the innocent, young, and sheltered Brown starts to change. The young boy who only knew only that which is good and beautiful is not the same again. When he sees Faith in the forest, notwithstanding, acknowledges that only evil exists. He no longer sees any problem with living in a mix of good and bad. What makes Goodman troubles when in the forest is that the good shrank not from the wicked (Hawthorne, 6). He goes on to analyze his wife’s pink ribbon which was a mixture of two colors. The combination of white, seen as pure and red, associated with guilt and sin in the tale. Brown’s propensity to believe regarding God or Satan, the flesh or the spirit, and right or evil has been described as typical of early Puritan New England. The modifications that occurred to Goodman is believable. This is because he’s changing from the man of religion to a sinner who finds out nothing else but evil is shown in many instances. Part of his initial firmness in his stability to go into the woods and with his confidence that his wife, by staying at home, saying her prayers, and going to bed early will remain unharmed, is his sense of the uniqueness of his daring. He later changes and believes in nothing good. there are lines in the story like “My father never passed into the woods on such an errand, nor his father before him” (Hawthorne, 6).  This showed that Goodman believed that his father was a good man that valued morality and religion. Goodman Brown was proud of this as much as he was convinced of his own “goodness”, as represented by his name but the belief goes away when his wife comes to him. He believes that he is no longer in effect.

Work Cited

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. Young Goodman Brown. Lanham: Start Publishing LLC, 2012.Internet resource