What does the man in decent attire represent to Goodman?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

On a general level, the man in decent attire is Young Goodman Brown's companion on this unknown journey. This strange man also becomes a link to Brown's past, as the man explains that Brown's father and grandfather had made similar journeys.
It does become clear through imagery and symbolizm that the man in decent attire is, in fact, the devil. It is through this fact that Goodman Brown learns that all the people he regarded in such high esteem have their own links to the devil (Goody Cloyse, the minister, and the deacon).
The devil could then represent Goodman Brown's ability to give in to temptation and evil; therefore, having his own links with the devil.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial