Young Goodman Brown Setting

597 Words3 Pages
ENC 1102 55M The description of the setting in the story “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathan Hawthorne helps the reader understand what life was like for people back in the time period of the Salem witch trials. It is done by using language. The use of the language helps explain the major themes and ideas of this story which are: the inevitable loss of innocence and the fear of the wilderness. The inevitable loss of innocence in this story is when Goodman Brown makes the choice to go into the forest and meet with the devil. The loss of Goodman Brown’s innocence starts to happen when Hawthorne writes “My journey, as thou callest it, forth and back again, needs to be done ‘twixt now and sunrise (3).” This means that Goodman Brown has already made the decision to go into the forest at night. The decision to go into the forest at night was the real danger because the forest at this time was considered to be devilish, frightening, and a dark place to be after the sun went down. Even though Goodman Brown’s wife Faith was against him going into the forest, he “felt himself justified in making more haste on his present evil purpose (3).” This means that Goodman Brown is starting to come to terms with his choice of going into the forest at night. The seventeenth century puritans also had a fear of the devil. The puritans thought that the devil could be any person or anything and appear at any given time or place. So for Goodman Brown to be meeting the devil in this time period is considered not normal. To describe how much the puritans feared the devil Hawthorne says “What if the devil himself should be at my very elbow! (4)” In conclusion, the decision to go into the forest and the fear Goodman Brown experienced when he first met the devil is what begins the process of him losing his innocence. The fear of the wilderness in “Young Goodman Brown” is something that was not

More about Young Goodman Brown Setting

Open Document