Why is Faith afraid at the beginning of Young Goodman Brown?I know she doesnt want him to leave because they have only been married for a short while but does she really know that he will see her...

Why is Faith afraid at the beginning of Young Goodman Brown?

I know she doesnt want him to leave because they have only been married for a short while but does she really know that he will see her later?

Expert Answers
cmcqueeney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Hawthorne never directly says that Faith knows anything.  He intentionally leaves it ambiguous, but he does mention at the beginning that Faith is afraid she will have bad dreams.  After she mentions this though, Young Goodman Brown says he sees a troubled look in her face and wonders if she's had dreams that warn her of what will happen that night.  

In addition, you have to consider the Puritan setting of the story.  Puritans believed that the forest was the place of witches, heathen Indians, and the Devil.  They also believed that nighttime harbored evil deeds.  So for Goodman Brown to insist on traveling into the forest "twixt now and sunrise" would automatically make a good Puritan, likeFaith, afraid.  Goodman Brown also states that "of all the nights of the year, this one night must" he leave her.  This statement makes the reader wonder what night this is...it could be a specified time of year, such as Halloween, that might add to Faith's anxiety about his journey.

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Young Goodman Brown

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