Discuss how Young Goodman Brown is affected by the experience in the forest. What does the experience itself reveal about him?

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Goodman Brown is deeply shaken by his experience in the forest. When he sees Goody Cloyse, his catechism teacher, deep in the woods, he wants to avoid her because he doesn't want her to know that he is in the woods and engaging in untoward behavior. He is absolutely shocked...

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Goodman Brown is deeply shaken by his experience in the forest. When he sees Goody Cloyse, his catechism teacher, deep in the woods, he wants to avoid her because he doesn't want her to know that he is in the woods and engaging in untoward behavior. He is absolutely shocked when he realizes that Goody Cloyse knows the devil so well, as she is a spiritual mentor for him.

Truly amazed, Goodman Brown refuses to go a step farther. He hears horses coming and hides himself, only to hear the voices of his minister and deacon on the path. Upon hearing their conversation, a discussion of the "devil[ish]" meeting to take place tonight, he begins to doubt "whether there really was a Heaven above him." When he hears the voice of his wife, Faith, and sees her pink ribbons, he loses his Christian faith, it seems, and he declares,

There is no good on earth ... Come, devil! for to thee is this world given.

The narrator claims that the sight of Goodman Brown in these moments is "more frightful" than anything else could be because the devil "in his own shape is less hideous than when he rages in the breast of man."

When he wakes up in the woods the next morning, Goodman Brown is a changed man. He has become a "stern, a sad, a darkly meditative, a distrustful, if not a desperate man." He can not listen to people singing psalms without hearing an "anthem of sin" in his own ears. He "shrank from the bosom of Faith" and died amid "gloom."

Brown lost his faith in humanity and his faith in God as a result of his experiences, and his life is ruined by it. This reveals his own hypocrisy. He went into the woods to meet the devil and engage in sin but, when he saw others there for the same reason, he judged them rather than try to help them or see how he is similar.

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