According to the summary of “Young Goodman Brown,” Goodman Brown witnesses “an evil ceremony that implicates his wife, Faith, in sin [and] he returns from the journey with blackness in his...

According to the summary of “Young Goodman Brown,” Goodman Brown witnesses “an evil ceremony that implicates his wife, Faith, in sin [and] he returns from the journey with blackness in his soul.”  Do you agree?  Does he already have “blackness in his soul” before he leaves?  At what point does he become bitter? Why? Is he at all to blame for this?

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Stephen Holliday eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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To answer your question as to whether Young Goodman Brown has blackness in his soul when he begins his journey, we only have to look at his farewell conversation with his wife, Faith, who implores him not to go on this journey at night:

"Poor little Faith!" thought he, for his heart smote him. "What a wretch am I to leave her on such an errand! She talks of dreams, too. Methought as she spoke there was trouble in her face, as if a dream had warned her what work is to be done tonight. But no, no; 't would kill her to think it. Well, she's a blessed angel on earth; and after this one night I'll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven."

Brown's journey violates all beliefs and reason that he should be exercising at this point. First, a Puritan going unarmed and alone into the forest at night is an invitation to be killed by the Native Americans who not only live in the forest but are considered, by virtue of their "barbaric" nature, to be allied with Satan. A typical Puritan would not...

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