What actually happens at the end of "Young Goodman Brown"?

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Stephen Holliday eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The ending of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown ," as your question implies, intrigues almost every reader because Hawthorne leaves it to the reader to decide whether Brown meets Satan in the forest and attends a satanic ceremony (with his wife, Faith) or has a dream vision in which the events occur. In one sense, a definitive answer doesn't really matter: whether or not Brown has an actual experience with Satan, Brown believes he has had such an experience, and believing makes the experience real, at least as far as Brown is concerned. But in order to find an answer that suits our own sensibilities, which are far...

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dianecar | Student

Young Goodman Brown (as the above poster said is not young anymore) questions everyone around him. He sees the minister and snatches the girl away he is talking to, he does not have anything to do with his wife. He has become bitter and dies a lonely man. The sad part is that he doesn't even know whether the whole journey into the forest was real or a dream!

 

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