4 Stars Out Of 5
A great American short story collection
February 12, 2011
Young Goodman Brown is an allegorical short story that centers on the human struggle of identity and religion. It is written by Nathaniel Hawthorne and was first published in 1835. The story takes place in Salem, a Puritan settlement where Christian moral law is seemingly strictly adhered to. In the story, Brown embarks on a journey at night where he meets the devil and follows many upstanding townspeople to a meeting deep in the forest. Everyone there is involved in a sort of satanic baptism, including his wife Faith. Brown finds that he along with his wife will be the subjects baptized. Brown then awakens alone in the woods, not sure if what occurred was just a dream or an actual event. Whichever the case may be, he lives the remainder of his life an unhappy man who is suspicious of everyone he once respected. Here faith is tested and through this internal human struggle one can find happiness, joy, and enlightenment or discouragement, suspicion, and guilt. It is truly the choice of the individual and how they will come to terms with these tests in their life. There are many angles that can be addressed in this tale, making it so universal and interesting to people of all stations. Hawthorne's writing is known for instilling lessons or morals and will be remembered for generations to come. Definitely a good read and great tale to review and analyze, it has many points of symbolism and an overall interesting plot.