How is the name Goodman Brown symbolic to the meaning of the story?

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Young Goodman Brown is a young, good man with a common last name.  With this name, Hawthorne uses Brown as a representation of every young, good and average man in early Puritan America. Brown is normal; and with that normality, he is curious. The curiosity he feels leads to being tempted away from what he knows is good and true (Faith, his wife, who is also symbolic to the relationship that one must have with his God). Being young is a quality assiciated with inquisitiveness; but, being a good man places him in a situation where good men shouldn't be found. The youthful character of the name, along with the average application of the name to any one of us, gives the name a common ground upon which the average reader can relate and understand the moral of the story.

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Young Goodman Brown

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