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Young Goodman Brown

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  9,141 Ratings  ·  295 Reviews
Hawthorne's classic tale of a young Puritan's meeting with the Devil.
Paperback, 48 pages
Published September 9th 2005 by Wildside Press (first published 1835)
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Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such a wonderfully (and eerily) subversive story of a man who sees what lies behind the virtuous facade. A classic "dark romance," it's got all the hallmarks of another kind of classic: that of the "hero cycle" (to use Joseph Campbell's famous phrase), where the hero has to leave society to gain wisdom, which he then brings back with him. Here, though, the "hero cycle" is completely inverted. The wisdom that Young Goodman Brown gains, when he's off in the woods, is the belief that the townsfolk ...more
Young Puritan, Goodman Brown, enters the forest one night and imagines/dreams that he and his fellow 17th century neighbors, villagers, all good Puritans, are in cahoots with the Devil himself. And unless God is tolerant of ignorant fools, I suspect Hell itself is populated with these religious fanatics, these witch burning despots.
Bill  Kerwin
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Young Goodman Brown, first published in New-England Magazine, VIII (April, 1835), is one of Hawthorne’s enduring classic. This simple story of a young Puritan who undergoes certain life-altering experiences when he accompanies the “traveller with the twisted staff” to a ceremony deep in the nighttime woods is both memorable in itself and representative of the great themes that darken and enrich Hawthorne’s fiction: the Puritan connection with evil, the deceptive nature of everyday life, the prec
Ahmad Sharabiani
Young Goodman Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne
"Young Goodman Brown" is a short story published in 1835 by American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne. The story takes place in 17th century Puritan New England, a common setting for Hawthorne's works, and addresses the Calvinist/Puritan belief that all of humanity exists in a state of depravity, but that God has destined some to unconditional election through unmerited grace. Hawthorne frequently focuses on the tensions within Puritan culture, yet steeps his st
Paul Williams
Apr 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 01, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Tom Mathews
Sep 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The events that occurred in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692 have echoed down the years like few others in our history. It's impact can be seen even four generations later in Nathaniel Hawthorne's scathing indictment of society in a village ironically named after the Hebrew word for peace. Hawthorne, a great, great grandson of a judge from the witch trials, uses this spooky tale of a midnight gathering to condemn those who used a facade of piety and righteousness to condemn others for the most veni ...more
Tracy Reilly
Jul 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Okay, I've read this enough times that I think I can do an actual review. I know people are always arguing over the GREAT AMERICAN NOVEL--or at least they used to. So, I would like to submit this story as THE Great American Short Story.

To me, it's plainly, simply, iconic. It doesn't just represent American culture: the ideas go even deeper to the unconscious soul of the human race. It just happens to be set in America, and in its embryonic state---that's what makes it such a great choice as a r
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.
Chitra Divakaruni
May 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: influences
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.
Dec 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: american-lit
A good short read. Enjoyed Hawthorn's symbolism in weaving a story of the contradicting ideas of public morality and religious faith.
zeynab kaveh
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
this is one of the masterpieces in short story! the symbolism used in the work is so amazing that by rereading it, you can always find some hidden dimensions of the text. protagonist is named "Goodman" and he seems the only good man in his village. his wife is named "Faith" which represents the protagonist's faith. the forest which all the deviltry in the story is happening there, has been described with conventional elements such as darkness and every time which there is a hope for getting out ...more
Maryam Rajee
Aug 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: short-stories
The allegory represents a man losing his faith and beliefs emphasizing the depravity of human nature.
Charles Boogaard
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great short story : A walk with the devil which will forever change a mans life. “They carved no hopeful verse on his tomb, as his dying hour was gloom.”
I LOVE NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE!! this story is absolutely brilliant and wonderful. Just read it!
Bri Zabriskie
Apr 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
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 little story packs a very big punch! I approached it as a "taster" of Hawthorne's work, prior to undertaking one of his longer pieces, and I am completely flabbergasted! While I can appreciate his immense talent as a writer (his images are VIVID!), I am not willing at this point in time to immerse myself in such dark stories.

I skimmed the Wikipedia page devoted to Hawthorne and his life and I believe that it will be necessary for me to understand Hawthorne's life and the history of his tim
This book was a super religious read, but it opened my eyes that we often view others how we wish to be seen. It was a hard read because of all the symbolism, but it was ok.
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fantastic short story. To sum it up, our protagonist ''Goodman brown'' embarks on a journey to wilderness with the Legend , myth, our darling dear Mr Satan himself ;), pretty cool? ain't it? So Goodman Brown goes to the dark wilderness and meets our friend Mr devil himself and as they keep going Brown lingers a bit and does a bit of soul searching and admonishes himself because his father wasn't the kinda person who would ever want to go on such a trip , nor was his grandfather and he ipso fac ...more
Sep 27, 2010 rated it it was ok
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
Negar Bolboli
Nov 04, 2017 rated it liked it
set in the infamous Salem Village, Hawthorne tells the frightening and haunting story of a man who comes to face the depraved nature of his fellow townspeople.
Althea Ann
Jan 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the first half of this, I felt it was a rather plodding allegory: a young man bids adieu to his wife Faith and goes to meet The Devil in the woods. However, the conclusion really twists it around and makes this an excellent piece.
Sarah Marie
Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne

4.25 stars

I really enjoyed the themes that Hawthorne presents in this short story. The writing isn't particularly gripping and I found it easy to leave the story, but I felt very connected to the tone and I felt a little spooked and panicked, which I'm sure was Hawthorne's main purpose (since the ending gives that tone).

Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Scary. Obvious. Still scary. Like Rosemary's Baby. It was all a dream, or was it?
Want to read some analysis on this story. Hawthorne is FIERCELY CONDEMNING. In a #resist fashion.
Oumaima Mekni
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Although there is nothing to deduce from this story and the whole thing is most probably a weird dream Goodman Brown had, I still enjoyed Hawthorne's flawless writing style.
John Martindale
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
It seems that Young Goodman Brown, giving in to an unspecified temptation, follows the devil into a dark forest of sin, where he sees (later we learn it was a dream) that everyone in Salam, even the most pious old women, his virtuous wife Faith and even the pastor of the church, are all themselves there in the forest, consorting with the devil and witchcraft and heading to partake in some Satanic baptism. This results in Brown loosing faith, and embracing the dark side which obviously the true w ...more
Dec 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Am listening to "The Great Courses," "Masterpieces of Short Fiction," and "Young Goodman Brown" is first. Michael Krasny's explication is fascinating and deep.
I think Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote a parable about understanding the belief system in which one lives, understanding how it creates the monsters it battles so that on a daily basis, one trapped in it sees everyone as fallen short, already taken by the monster.
Yet I don't think Hawthorne reached outside the system that he saw and understoo
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
May 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Well, that what will happen if we just surrender to our weakness. Yes, we are weak but that doesn't mean to stay the way we are and give up to our ego and the devil.

A read for Uni late at night.. great but I did not feel the horror in there.
A man walked out into the woods one night and imagined that he went straight to hell.
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Carlson 2341.06 F...: This topic has been closed to new comments. * The Devil in the Details 42 25 Sep 18, 2015 01:54PM  
analyse Young Goodman Brown(short story) for me. 2 16 Jan 15, 2014 08:34PM  
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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

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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.” 23 likes
“The fiend in his own shape is less hideous than when he rages in the breast of men.” 20 likes
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