What does Goodman Brown’s decision to go into the forest suggest about his character?
What does Goodman Brown’s decision to go into the forest suggest about his character? Considering this, what is ironic about his reaction to seeing all the other townsfolk – and especially his wife – at the gathering in the woods with the devil?
Since YGM is an allegory to human nature and weakness versus socially-imposed virtue, what his entrance in the forest suggests is that, contrary to Goodman's opinion of himself as a virtuous man, he is a man nevertheless with a natural curiosity to that which is forbidden and unknown, and with the same tendency to fall under the hands of evil as anyone else. He is not the "good man" that he and everone thinks he is. Everyone, including he, has a dark side to which we turn to every once in a while.
What is ironic is that when he saw them he acted as if he was shocked that the townsfolk, his wife, and anyone would join the path of evil. IN other words, he was shocked that they were there, but he had no problem being there himself. This shows a double standard on his part.