Young Goodman Brown begins "doubting whether there really was a heaven above him." Why? What events cause him to begin to doubt?

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Like many elements of Hawthorne's classic short story, there are two meanings to this line.

The first is because Goodman is doubting himself. What he has heard (the holy men talking) makes no sense, and he is now wondering if he is dreaming.

The second is spiritual. His despair is...

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Like many elements of Hawthorne's classic short story, there are two meanings to this line.

The first is because Goodman is doubting himself. What he has heard (the holy men talking) makes no sense, and he is now wondering if he is dreaming.

The second is spiritual. His despair is growing so intensely that he feels like there is no heaven--that the world is completely dark, abandoned by God, or at least, lost to sin and Satan. This second view is underscored by what happens soon after: a cloud passes overhead, and blocks out the clouds. If there is a heaven, he can't see it anymore.

The reason he doubts himself and feels like the world has gone dark or been lost are the same. He has seen people he thought were good, people from his community who he has known his whole life. However, instead of being good, they have become evil: they literally worship the devil.

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