Essay On Character Analysis of Goodman Brown

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Character Analysis of Goodman Brown

Goodman Brown is a staunch Christian, who is married to Faith. Brown’s pride lies in the history of his family, and the reputation that reigns in the community. Brown has a high level of curiosity that persuades him to consider going to an evil ceremony. The ceremony changes him for good and returns to his community disillusioned. Brown has a beautiful wife with whom he shares in her virtues but not until he sees her in his nightmares, and he starts questioning her true character and identity. Hawthorne says, “A lone woman is troubled with such dreams and such thoughts” (7-8). The character of Brown changes from faith and innocence to corruption and doubts as the devils distorts the way he thinks and perceives valuable people in his life.

The faith and goodness of Brown are seen in the way he treats his father, grandfather, minister and wife. He looks up to the goodness of his father and grandfather and the minister. Brown believes in the true Christina nature of the minister of Salem because he is a man of God. His wife Faith comes into his life a young immaculate and beautiful lady. He invests all his trust in the life of his wife, and life seems good in his belief that he has found a true partner to share his life happiness and glory. Faith is a staunch Christian, who is an epitome of good and purity but not until the devils come knocking on their doors.

Brown innocence is lost when the devil visits his home and changes the way he views the valuable people in his life. Brown interjects, “what if the devil himself should be at my very elbow” (9). His wife Faith is no longer the pious and religious figure, and he hopes that the character would persist for the rest of her life. However, the arrival of the devil elicits doubts about the true nature of faith. He starts doubting her after seeing him in the evil ceremony in the forest. The devil also reveals the two followers, Deacon Gookin, and Goody Cloyse that Brown has known all along that they are staunch Christians (Hawthorne 16). The character of Brown here is seen to shaky because he is convinced to think otherwise about the community he has known his entire life.

The arrival of the devil changes the faith and innocence of Brown to corruption. The evil nature of the people around him comes as a surprise, and that convinces him that the entire Puritan society is hypocritical. The revelations that come to him give him a different perspective of the society that he knows professes its Christian faith in public. Brown has seen his father and grandfather acknowledge their faith in the church and other occasions in the society. The author uses Brown to depict a society that hides behind the face Godliness. The actions of the Puritan society are not straightforward all the time. What angers Brown most is that the religion that has shaped his Christian faith does not have an admirable history. His father and grandfather took part in setting Indian villages on fire despite being top members of the Puritan clergy (Hawthorne 12). The willingness of Brown to visit the forest to clear his doubts shows a man who has lost his faith, beliefs and innocence to dark secrets that he does not even known if they are true.

Brown develops doubts his wife when she starts having nightmares. She is no longer the beacon of stability of his home or the domestic sphere that represents the innocence of Puritan society. The most pure-hearted person in the story turns out to have a dark side according to Brown and in his quest to find the truth about his people he loses his religious beliefs. He gets suspicious of Faith, and that is the worst sin he commits as a religious man. Brown gives in to the temptation of corruption and doubts that lead him to the evil estrangement from his wife, Faith. The transition from a good character to a man who doubts the goodness of God is proof that Brown interaction with the evil has its own consequences.

It is evident that the character of Goodman Brown transitions from faith and innocence to doubts and corruption. He is a man of a feeble heart who gets swayed by the evil that corrupts his mind. He does not show any attempt to fight the temptation that turns him against his wife, father and Puritan society. The Brown’s story does not make it clear if the revelations in forest are dreams or reality, but it helps to convince the reader that Brown should have taken a leap of faith in his people at the very least.


Hawthorne, Nathaniel. Young Goodman Brown. Lanham: Start Publishing LLC, 2012. Print.