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Young Goodman Brown1

Throughout the story, Brown lacks emotion as a normal person would have had. Theclosest Brown comes to showing an emotion is when "a hanging twig, that had been all on fire,besprinkled his cheek with the coldest dew." The dew on his cheek represents a tear that Brownis unable to produce because of his lack of emotion. Hawthorne shows that Brown has "nocompassion for the weaknesses he sees in others, no remorse for his own sin, and no sorrow forhis loss of faith." (Easterly 339) His lack of remorse and compassion "condemns him to ananguished life that is spiritually and emotionally dissociated." (Easterly 341) This scene is anexample of how Goodman Brown chose to follow his head rather than his heart. Had Brownfollowed his heart, he may have still lived a good life. If he followed with his heart, he wouldhave been able to sympathize with the community's weaknesses, but instead, he listened to hishead and excommunicated himself from the community because he only thought of them asheathens.."Young Goodman Brown" ends with Brown returning to Salem at early dawn and lookingaround like a "bewildered man." He cannot believe that he is in the same place that he just thenight before; because to him, Salem was no longer home. He felt like an outsider in a world ofDevil worshippers and because his "basic means of order, his religious system, is absent, thesociety he was familiar with becomes nightmarish." (Shear 545) He comes back to the town"projecting his guilt onto those around him." (Tritt 114) Brown expresses his discomfort with hisnew surroundings and his excessive pride when he takes a child away from a blessing given byGoody Cloyse, his former Catechism teacher, as if he were taking the child "from the grasp of thefiend himself." His anger towards the community is exemplified when he sees Faith who isoverwhelmed with excitement to see him and he looks "sternly and sadly into her face, and passedon without a greeting." Brown cannot even s...

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