Study Guide

Young Goodman Brown What's Up With the Title?

By Nathaniel Hawthorne

What's Up With the Title?

"Young Goodman Brown": it's just the name of the main character. Pretty simple, right? Well, it does help to know that a "goodman" is a man of humble but respectable birth —the Puritan middle class. Young Goodman Brown is a young but fairly established man, neither way up at the top of society not trapped in the bottom. He's a bit of an everyman and, at least when we first meet him, his future is still his to decide.