What peculiar sights does Goodman see as he walks through the woods? Why are these sights rather alarming?

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cmcqueeney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Young Goodman Brown sees a number of peculiar sights as he travels through the woods.  First he meets a man who the narrator tells us is in the guise of Goodman Brown's grandfather.  Then, as he walks with this man, he sees Goody Cloyse, Deacon Goodkin and the minister traveling into the woods.  Later, when he is alone he sees a strange cloud that emits voices of townspeople including his wife, Faith, and from that cloud pink ribbons fall down to where Young Goodman Brown stands.  Finally, he encounters a gathering of townspeople that looks like a communion service at church, but is led by the Devil.  All of these  sights are alarming because they call into question the religious faith of Young Goodman Brown.  He has believed these people to be good and religious his entire life, and now it appears that they are all hypocrites.  Although, the author never tells the reader if the experience really happened, it is enough to destroy Goodman Brown's faith.  He lives and eventually dies in despair.

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Young Goodman Brown

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