How does nature relate to the characters in "Young Goodman Brown"?
In “Young Goodman Brown ,” nature must be understood in two ways. There is the nature of place and there is human nature. Goodman Brown goes from the village into the forest, from civilization into the wild. And the forest is often described as dark and gloomy. The forest is where Brown meets the devil and sees, or has visions of, the Black Mass. Initially, the forest is the place where Brown confronts evil. The deeper he goes into the forest, the closer he comes to forming a covenant with the devil. By contrast, the village represents civilization and virtue. This contrast is reversed when it is revealed that the other characters (people from town) are attending the Black Mass. Then, Brown's perspective on evil shifts. At first, the idea is that evil is 'out there,' in nature or existing as some potential in the world. After seeing so many of his good neighbors engaging in rituals with the devil, he considers that evil is not 'out there' in nature...
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