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Young Goodman Brown5

Young Goodman Brown versus the Community All people have problems with the community in which they live. Their conflicts are either with the people or the ideas of the community. In the story “Young Goodman Brown,” Nathaniel Hawthorne shows his main character having conflicts with his society. Young Goodman Brown, the main character, does not notice these problems until after his trip into the forest. The two questions that Hawthorne implies are why his character cannot adapt to the community and what conditions does the character not agree. Before Brown’s visit into the woods, he has no problem with his community; however, he becomes aware of the problems of his community after the encounter in the forest. Being involved with one’s community was very important during the time period. Goodman Brown’s community was very small, and everyone knew everyone. If one did not adapt to the ways of the society, then that person was shunned from it. Young Goodman Brown was well adapted to his community and was well known. The man that Brown encounters in the woods states, “I have been as well acquainted with your family as with ever a one among the Puritans; and that’s no trifle to say (265)”. This statement implies that the Browns are a popular family among this community. After meeting this strange man, Brown begins to witness some bizarre events. He notices many familiar people attend a devilish ceremony in the forest, and some of these figures are ones whom Goodman Brown has thought to be good and innocent. The sentence “either the sudden gleams of light flashing over the obscure field bedazzled Goodman Brown, or he recognized a score of the church members of Salem village famous for their especial sanctity (270)” implies that the most holy people of the village are present at this ritual. Brown sees his mother, father, and his wife Faith. After seeing all of these people in the woo...

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