What event does Goodman Brown come to witness deep in the forest and who is in attendance?

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James Kelley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "Young Goodman Brown," the title character comes to witness a satanic mass deep in the forest outside his hometown of Salem. In attendance are all sorts of supposedly virtuous people as well as people who not seen as virtuous. Here are a few quotations taken from the story (I'm just listing without introducing or discussing them; don't do what I'm doing in a formal essay!):

the shape of his own dead father

a woman, with dim features of despair, threw out her hand to warn him back. Was it his mother?

the minister and good old Deacon Gookin

Goody Cloyse, that pious teacher of the catechism, and Martha Carrier, who had received the devil's promise to be queen of hell

It was strange to see that the good shrank not from the wicked, nor were the sinners abashed by the saints. Scattered also among their pale-faced enemies were the Indian priests, or powwows, who had often scared their native forest with more hideous incantations than any known to English witchcraft.

Most importantly to the story, of course, is that Young Goodman Brown's wife, Faith, is also present.

This is a very popular story. View the various links from the main link given below for more discussion of the story.

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Young Goodman Brown

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