Does Goodman Brown commit adultery?

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Adultery literally refers to a married person engaging in the act of sexual intercourse with someone who is not their current spouse or partner. Goodman Brown does not engage in sexual intercourse with anyone in the story, let alone someone other than his wife, Faith; therefore, he cannot be said...

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Adultery literally refers to a married person engaging in the act of sexual intercourse with someone who is not their current spouse or partner. Goodman Brown does not engage in sexual intercourse with anyone in the story, let alone someone other than his wife, Faith; therefore, he cannot be said to have committed adultery. While he does not cheat on his wife, though, he does cheat on his faith, and his wife's character can be interpreted as a symbol of his Christian faith (this is why her name is Faith). Goodman Brown feels badly for leaving her to go "on such an errand," implying that he knows it is an evil thing he goes to do. However, he plans to "cling to her skirts and follow her to Heaven" after this one night. In other words, he is deliberately going into the forest for some sinful purpose: he knows it is wrong, and he does it anyway. Then, after this one last night of fun, he plans to be good and keep his faith. However, this is not how faith works. A person is supposed to commit themselves to God, and this does not include only keeping one's faith when it is convenient and abandoning it when it proves burdensome. In this sense, then Goodman Brown can be said to cheat on his faith, though he does not cheat on Faith.

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