In "Young Goodman Brown" what are Brown’s values at the end of the story? 

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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If we examine the end of this excellent story, we can see that Goodman Brown's values and ideas about life have undergone a massive shift. Gone is the carefree and loving young man who was entranced by his wife. Instead, his experiences in the woods and what he saw, suggesting truth of universal sin corrupting even the most saintly of individuals, has made him distrustful of life in general. Consider the following description we are given of how he changes:

A stern, a sad, a darkly meditative, a distrustful, if not a desperate man did he become from the night of that fearful dream.

Note the complete change suggested by the list of negative adjectives that is used to suggest what a dark character he becomes. His values are clearly indicated by his inability to listen to the minister preach and also the way that he even shrinks "from the bosom of Faith," his wife, who of course acts allegorically in this tale. He has become far more pessimistic and distrusting.


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