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Young Goodman Brown

Young Goodman Brown

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Loss of Innocence Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

So they parted; and the young man pursued his way, until, being about to turn the corner by the meeting-house, he looked back, and saw the head of Faith peeping after him, with a melancholy air, in spite of her pink ribbons. (6)

Young Goodman Brown believes that Faith embodies kindness and innocence. But what if Faith's "melancholy air" is a sign that she's not so sheltered after all? She may be sad because she can relate to the moral trials that Brown is soon to experience.

Quote #2

"Poor little Faith!" thought he, for his heart smote him. "What a wretch am I, to leave her on such an errand! She talks of dreams, too. Methought, as she spoke, there was trouble in her face, as if a dream had warned her what work is to be done to-night. But, no, no! 't would kill her to think it. Well; she's a blessed angel on earth; and after this one night, I'll cling to her skirts and follow her to Heaven." (6-7)

Again: "blessed angel on earth," or not so much? All we have to say is that it's usually not a good sign if you're having bad dreams. (At least in literature.)

Quote #3

"Can this be so!" cried Goodman Brown, with a stare of amazement at his undisturbed companion. "Howbeit, I have nothing to do with the governor and council; they have their own ways, and are no rule for a simple husbandman, like me. But, were I to go on with thee, how should I meet the eye of that good old man, our minister, at Salem village? Oh his voice would make me tremble, both Sabbath-day and lecture-day!" (21)

Young Goodman Brown's observations don't seem too ridiculous—but, when you think about it, this is basically like a kid who doesn't want to steal because he's afraid of his parents. He's not avoiding it because it's wrong: he just doesn't want to get into trouble. Not too mature.

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