How is Young Goodman Brown affected by his forest experience and what does it reveal about him?

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Goodman Brown is deeply shaken by his experience in the forest. When he sees Goody Cloyse, his catechism teacher, deep in the woods, he wants to avoid her because he doesn't want her to know that he is in the woods and engaging in untoward behavior. He is absolutely shocked when he realizes that Goody Cloyse knows the devil so well, as she is a spiritual mentor for him.

Truly amazed, Goodman Brown refuses to go a step farther. He hears horses coming and hides himself, only to hear the voices of his minister and deacon on the path. Upon hearing their conversation, a discussion of the "devil[ish]" meeting to take place tonight, he begins to doubt "whether there really was a Heaven above him." When he hears the voice of his wife, Faith, and sees her pink ribbons, he loses his Christian faith, it seems, and he declares,

There is no good on earth ... Come, devil! for to thee is this world given.

The narrator claims that the sight of Goodman Brown in these moments is "more frightful" than anything else could be because the devil "in his own shape is less hideous than when he rages in the breast of man."

When he wakes up in the woods the next morning, Goodman Brown is a changed man. He has become a "stern, a sad, a darkly meditative, a distrustful, if not a desperate man." He can not listen to people singing psalms without hearing an "anthem of sin" in his own ears. He "shrank from the bosom of Faith" and died amid "gloom."

Brown lost his faith in humanity and his faith in God as a result of his experiences, and his life is ruined by it. This reveals his own hypocrisy. He went into the woods to meet the devil and engage in sin but, when he saw others there for the same reason, he judged them rather than try to help them or see how he is similar.

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How is Young Goodman Brown changed by his experience in the forest? Does the narrator endorse Brown's unwillingness to trust anyone?

Goodman Brown's experience in the forest robs him of his optimism and his faith in humanity. He becomes a grim misanthrope and, in Hawthorne's own words, "a stern, a sad, a darkly meditative, a distrustful, if not a desperate man." This effect is permanent, since the story ends with his death, many years later, after a life of isolation and suspicion.

The narrator does not comment explicitly on the wisdom of Brown's refusal to trust anyone, though he does state that what happened to him was "of evil omen," whether is was real or a dream. The tone of the last few paragraphs, in which Brown's transformation is described, is one of grim inevitability. The narrator seems to conclude that the protagonist's mistrust and misanthropy are unfortunate but understandable.

The final words of the story remark that Brown's "dying hour was gloom." This could be taken as describing a universal fate, since funerals are typically gloomy affairs. The narrator is making the additional point that there was nothing to celebrate in Brown's life; but Hawthorne generally regards life as a tragic affair in which a pessimistic outlook is only to be expected.

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