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Young Goodman Brown
Nathaniel Hawthorne
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Young Goodman Brown

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  4,944 ratings  ·  127 reviews
Hawthorne's classic tale of a young Puritan's meeting with the Devil.
Paperback, 143 pages
Published January 28th 1968 by Merrill Pub Co (first published 1835)
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The story begins with a sense of menace – fear on Faith’s part, mission and deception on Goodman’s, with the admission that his intent is evil. How common is the promise often made to ourselves that this one sin will be our last and that hereafter we will remain on the narrow path of goodness.

The forest in this tale can be seen as the uncivilized, darkness, the unconscious part of the mind, the socially unacceptable. Native Americans are seen as denizens of this region. Goodman soon meets a figu
Paul Williams
This is, in my opinion, one of the single greatest short stories ever written. The narrative is so tightly woven, the dialogue genius and subtle, and the prose are extremely sharp. While much criticism tries to explain the allegory as a man's venture into the realm of the sexual, I think that the story is much more universal. For one thing, there's very little to indicate that Goodman Brown's journey is specifically sexual (Freudians will disagree, but I remain unconvinced), and I feel that Hawt ...more
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
Young Goodman Brown, surrounded by good, goes into the forest one night and, in the darkness which illuminated the good that he knew all his life, suddenly saw that virtue is but a dream and that even Faith, his wife with pink ribbons in her hair, has wickedness dwelling in her heart.

Disillusioned, young Goodman Brown dies old, scowling.
I started Young Goodman Brown thinking that it couldn’t possibly be creepier than Edgar Allan Poe (to which my siblings say something like, “Poe? From Kung Fu Panda?!”) Though I still think that Poe is the king of horror, Hawthorne quite surprised me with his ability to freak me out! When it started off in Salem, I was sort of like, “Really? Again? Man, this guy is obsessed.” I was probably expecting an Introduction to the Scarlet Letter repeat - now that was horrifying. But this? This was
Chitra Divakaruni
A beautifully structured short story with deep mythic undertones and a mystery at its heart. Amazing use of symbols, and an unexpected lesson at the end. I love what Hawthorne does here with setting--the world of daylight and the village, pitted against the world of the night forest. I love teaching this story, and I've learned a lot from it myself.
Bri Zabriskie
I love this story (though only after many readings and discussions on it, at first I was totally creeped out by it). Here's some analysis of the setting I did for a class recently:

Where does the story take place? What time period?

The story starts out in Salem village, Massachusetts during the time when the Puritans populated the small colony. From there our protagonist takes a “dreary road” into the nearby forest, landing him in the deep in heart of the “haunted forest;” to him, a dark and dang
This is one of my favorite short stories of all time! I really hated The Scarlet Letter, and when I read this short story for the first time, I thought "oh great, a mini version of TSL" However, I was totally surprised and taken by Young Goodman Brown. This story is so creepy but awesome. I think the symbolism in the story is obvious, but I think that's what makes the story so great. I would totally recommend this to all short story lovers and for anyone who is as interested in symbolism as I am ...more
Well, actually I don't really knew Nathaniel Hawthorne's works before nor his actual biography or such, so I can't decide wether this story was a real sad story about a man loosing his faith or a contemptuous mock to hypocrisy of the puritan people. But in any way, I think it was a gloomy unhappy story.

(view spoiler)
The story opens up with a man named Goodman Brown who prepares to leave his wife, Faith. Outside his home in Salem Village, Faith implored him to stay one more night with her and informs him how she feels petrified and apprehensive. Consequently, Goodman Brown tells her that he will only be gone for one night and reminds her to say her prayers. He assures her that that will help her take refuge. All in all, Goodman Brown leaves Faith. Goodman Brown starts off by walking through
I had never heard of this short story, I had never read anything written by Hawthorne (nope, my school didn't make us read the big red A). But I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed Young Goodman Brown. The writing is fantastic and the idea of it was more interesting than I expected. Midnight jaunt with the devil...I would have liked to have known why he was out there though. There were some questions I would have loved answered, but I'll take what I got very happily, a quick easy read that was qu ...more
*may contain spoilers*
The book wasnt bad, if you are not very good at reading old english, i recommend following the book with an audiobook. The main character is a newly wed man named Young Goodman Brown, dont question his name, just get on with it. Though i am not too sure of the reason, he travels into the forest with symbols a dark place where you come in contact with the devil or something like that. Mr.brown (story never revered to him as that but i will nickname him that) was a pure perso
I never cease to be intrigued by this story. It is only about 10 pages long, so it certainly takes no time at all to read, but it definitely gives you plenty to think about and mull over when you are done. I would love to read this in a group setting and discuss it!

Hawthorne touches on themes of good, evil, hypocrisy, what really makes us pure, and does evil come from within or without. A delightful morsel that will have you ruminating for days.
Sep 02, 2011 Debra marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Stephen King recommended. King said his short story "The Man in a Black Suit" from his short-story collection Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales was an homage to Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown."
Tiffani Erickson
I had to read this and The Minister's Black Veil in my American Literature class and I really enjoyed both. His works are interesting and great for discussion. It's almost as if I wish he would explain more, but that's the point he usually makes, is to create an event that is an analogy meant for discussion.
Julie Davis
In which we are transported to 17th century Salem village for an encounter with Puritans, witch-meetings and pink ribbons. Hear it at Forgotten Classics.
Read for Literary Interpretation class

This almost had shades of The Screwtape Letters, but to me it really showed that we are all susceptible to evil. We seem to always see the worst in ourselves while assuming everyone else is perfect, but if all of our "sins" were brought to light we'd see that we all battle the war between good and evil.

I had to write two papers on this essay this week so I have now read it a billion times and it gains depth with each reading. I chose to write one paper on h
Not one of Hawthorne's stronger stories...I fail to understand why this lackluster story out of Hawthorne's amazing cannon is still considered the crowning achievement of this author's body of work. Brown is a rather inaccessible story for the average and un iniatiated student of literature. The take away value of this story about man realizing and coping with his sinful nature is a bit too obvious and certainly a tired and overstated trope.This story has become nothing more than a comfort zone ...more
Although I enjoyed the suspenseful tension of the story, I was confused by the ending. What exactly is the moral of the story? Yes, obviously all we good Christian children shall shrink from the temptation of evil. But if it was all a dream or some other fearful omen, and he did not actually participate in the dark Satanic initiation ritual, then why did it ruin his life anyway? It appears that Brown lives the rest of his days fearful and suspicious of all his family and neighbors. So perhaps th ...more
Priscilla Ferrara
I think Hawthorne was exaggerating to the point of creating a satire of the Puritan worldview in this little story. People who have grown up in a devout family know the feeling of fear and doubt when it comes to your faith. We've all seen people who were once strong in their faith slowly backslide and we've all heard the teaching that 'rebellion is witchcraft'; That a departure from faith makes you powerless in a sinful life and under judgement from the Moral law. However, Hawthorne presents an ...more
Puritan and Devil and Fear, Oh My
Nathaniel Hawthorne tells the haunting story of “Young Goodman Brown”, his night mission through the dark forest, conversations with the devil and visions of his fellow Puritan villagers at the devil’s forest altar. I think Hawthorne setting this short story in a Puritan village in the town of Salem, his hometown and so well known for its witch trial history is his contemporary story of how the fear of evil can be worse than the actual evil itself and can create
Okay, Hawthorne, I know you're desperate to atone for your witch-hunting great-great grandfather's sins by exposing the hypocrisy and wickedness that lies in the heart of Puritans or something, but enough is enough. Bottom line: Puritans are boring and witchcraft is bad. There! See, now you can write about something interesting like zombies. Actually, I would like to see The Scarlett Letter zombified. Working title: The Scarlett Z. Can someone please get on this project?
4.5 stars out of 5

My first Nathaniel Hawthorne story and will definitely read more. I absolutely loved it. Will reread to take it in more fully.

I was reminded of Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"-another one of my favorites- due to the setting and the way it was written. This story is eloquently dark and makes one question the idea of human "goodness" and whether it is an illusion or not.
I had never heard nor read Young Goodman Brown until I took a critical writing class in the fall of 2010 and was very impressed by the short story. I just loved that it showed the journey of a young man into adulthood as anyone would take.
The way Hawthorne writes about the path that Goodman Brown is on and that of our own is eerie since most of us aren't usually dealing with the devil and yet he does it in such a way that you can see how the decisions that Brown makes can be made by people like
A Halloween story with a parable hidden beneath the story. A young man travels into the wilderness with Satan one night and is tested as he encounters people from his town and life and must choose whether to believe the memories he has formed of these people or to trust in the lies Satan is now presenting to him.
What can I say? I just don't think I am a Nathaniel Hawthorne fan. The Scarlet Letter was torcher to get through, though this story was short so much easier, it still has the doom and I like my happy endings.

In "Young Goodman Brown" the symbolism is very good and gets you thinking from the start. Goodman Brown leaves his wife and she has this uneasy feeling and wants him to stay, Goodman insists he needs to go and proceeds to do so. I know this is supposed to imply he was going to do evil, but i
Elizabeth Rogers
Dec 01, 2014 Elizabeth Rogers rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Americanists; Gothic lit enthusiasts
I've read this short story a couple times, and every time I close my anthology feeling unsatisfied. Brown's reaction to the events in the forest (which might or might not actually be a dream) is infuriating, especially if Brown's judgments of others stems solely from an event he created in his own subconscious. I think the most unsettling part for me, though, is that I'm not satisfied with Brown's response even if the events in the forest really occurred. He just seems like a character who wants ...more
A little creepy, a little charming, but moved me so so infinitesimally. I'm not sure if I should rate something based on 'literary merit' or based on personal enjoyment? anyway this is probably very important but I cant say i liked it too much.
My English teacher really likes his works. However, I am not very interested in them. There are so many religious meanings in his works that I do not quite understand. Only after my teacher explain them to me can I make sense of them.
Mallika Soni
What the hell did I just read? Its so stupid. I think no one should ever read this book. Moreover, people on goodreads should not shower stars on foolish books. PLEASE!!!!
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Nathaniel Hawthorne was a 19th century American novelist and short story writer. He is seen as a key figure in the development of American literature for his tales of the nation's colonial history.

Shortly after graduating from Bowdoin College, Hathorne changed his name to Hawthorne. Hawthorne anonymously published his first work, a novel titled Fanshawe, in 1828. In 1837, he published Twice-Told T
More about Nathaniel Hawthorne...
The Scarlet Letter The House of the Seven Gables Young Goodman Brown and Other Short Stories The Minister's Black Veil Rappaccini's Daughter

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“Depending upon one another's hearts, ye had still hoped that virtue were not all a dream. Now are ye undeceived. Evil is the nature of mankind.” 14 likes
“The fiend in his own shape is less hideous than when he rages in the breast of man.” 7 likes
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