Answer these questions in 300 words 2 references
Transcribe and analyze a key passage from one of the readings this week.
First, present your properly quoted and cited passage.
Briefly paraphrase (in your own words), what this passage is telling us.
Finally, for your analysis, consider the following questions:
· What is the overall message or the point the author wants to drive home?
· If fiction, what seems to be the character or narrator’s attitude in the passage?
· If non-fiction, what seems to be the author’s attitude in the passage?
· Does the meaning of words go beyond the denoted meaning/what is the connotative meaning of the words?
· Could there be more than one way to interpret this passage? If so, what are the alternatives?
· In what ways is this passage significant to the work as a whole?
Young Goodman Brown
YOUNG GOODMAN BROWN came forth at sunset, into the street of Salem village, but
put his head back, after crossing the threshold, to exchange a parting kiss with his young
wife. And Faith, as the wife was aptly named, thrust her own pretty head into the street,
letting the wind play with the pink ribbons of her cap, while she called to Goodman
“Dearest heart,” whispered she, softly and rather sadly, when her lips were close to his
ear, “pr’y thee, put off your journey until sunrise, and sleep in your own bed to-night. A
lone woman is troubled with such dreams and such thoughts, that she’s afeard of herself,
sometimes. Pray, tarry with me this night, dear husband, of all nights in the year!”
“My love and my Faith,” replied young Goodman Brown, “of all nights in the year, this
one night must I tarry away from thee. My journey, as thou callest it, forth and back
again, must needs be done ‘twixt now and sunrise. What, my sweet, pretty wife, dost thou
doubt me already, and we but three months married!”
“Then God bless you!” said Faith, with the pink ribbons, “and may you find all well,
when you come back.”
“Amen!” cried Goodman Brown. “Say thy prayers, dear Faith, and go to bed at dusk, and
no harm will come to thee.”
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 still peeping after him,
with a melancholy air, in spite of her pink ribbons.
“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!
‘twould 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.”
With this excellent resolve for the future, Goodman Brown felt himself justified in
making more haste on his present evil purpose. He had taken a dreary road, darkened by
all the gloomiest trees of the forest, which barely stood aside to let the narrow path creep
through, and closed immediately behind. It was all as lonely as could be; and there is this
peculiarity in such a solitude, that the traveller knows not who may be concealed by the
innumerable trunks and the thick boughs overhead; so that, with lonely footsteps, he may
yet be passing through an unseen multitude.
“There may be a devilish Indian behind every tree,” said Goodman Brown to himself; and
he glanced fearfully behind him, as he added, “What if the devil himself should be at my
His head being turned back, he passed a crook of the road, and looking forward again,
beheld the figure of a man, in grave and decent attire, seated at the foot of an old tree. He
arose, at Goodman Brown’s approach, and walked onward, side by side with him.
“You are late, Goodman Brown,” said he. “The clock of the Old South was striking, as I
came through Boston; and that is full fifteen minutes agone.”
“Faith kept me back awhile,” replied the young man, with a tremor in his voice, caused
by the sudden appearance of his companion, though not wholly unexpected.
It was now deep dusk in the forest, and deepest in that part of it where these two were
journeying. As nearly as could be discerned, the second traveller was about fifty years
old, apparently in the same rank of life as Goodman Brown, and bearing a considerable
resemblance to him, though perhaps more in expression than features. Still, they might
have been taken for father and son. And yet, though the elder person was as simply clad
as the younger, and as simple in manner too, he had an indescribable air of one who knew
the world, and would not have felt abashed at the governor’s dinner-table, or in King
William’s court, were it possible that his affairs should call him thither. But the only thing
about him, that could be fixed upon as remarkable, was his staff, which bore the likeness
of a great black snake, so curiously wrought, that it might almost be seen to twist and
wriggle itself like a living serpent. This, of course, must have been an ocular deception,
assisted by the uncertain light.
“Come, Goodman Brown!” cried his fellow-traveller, “this is a dull pace for the
beginning of a journey. Take my staff, if you are so soon weary.”
“Friend,” said the other, exchanging his slow pace for a full stop, “having kept covenant
by meeting thee here, it is my purpose now to return whence I came. I have scruples,
touching the matter thou wot’st of.”
“Sayest thou so?” replied he of the serpent, smiling apart. “Let us walk on, nevertheless,
reasoning as we go, and if I convince thee not, thou shalt turn back. We are but a little
way in the forest, yet.”
“Too far, too far!” exclaimed the goodman, unconsciously resuming his walk. “My father
never went into the woods on such an errand, nor his father before him. We have been a
race of honest men and good Christians, since the days of the martyrs. And shall I be the
first of the name of Brown, that ever took this path and kept–”
“Such company, thou wouldst say,” observed the elder person, interrupting his pause.
“Well said, Goodman Brown! I have been as well acquainted with your family as with
ever a one among the Puritans; and that’s no trifle to say. I helped your grandfather, the
constable, when he lashed the Quaker woman so smartly through the streets of Salem.
And it was I that brought your father a pitch-pine knot, kindled at my own hearth, to set
fire to an Indian village, in King Philip’s War. They were my good friends, both; and
many a pleasant walk have we had along this path, and returned merrily after midnight. I
would fain be friends with you, for their sake.”
“If it be as thou sayest,” replied Goodman Brown, “I marvel they never spoke of these
matters. Or, verily, I marvel not, seeing that the least rumor of the sort would have driven
them from New England. We are a people of prayer, and good works to boot, and abide
no such wickedness.”
“Wickedness or not,” said the traveller with the twisted staff, “I have a very general
acquaintance here in New England. The deacons of many a church have drunk the
communion wine with me; the selectmen, of divers towns, make me their chairman; and a
majority of the Great and General Court are firm supporters of my interest. The governor
and I, too–but these are state-secrets.”
“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!”
Thus far, the elder traveller had listened with due gravity, but now burst into a fit of
irrepressible mirth, shaking himself so violently that his snake- like staff actually seemed
to wriggle in sympathy.
“Ha! ha! ha!” shouted he, again and again; then composing himself, “Well, go on,
Goodman Brown, go on; but, pr’y thee, don’t kill me with laughing!”
“Well, then, to end the matter at once,” said Goodman Brown, considerably nettled,
“there is my wife, Faith. It would break her dear little heart; and I’d rather break my
“Nay, if that be the case,” answered the other, “e’en go thy ways, Goodman Brown. I
would not, for twenty old women like the one hobbling before us, that Faith should come
to any harm.”
As he spoke, he pointed his staff at a female figure on the path, in whom Goodman
Brown recognized a very pious and exemplary dame, who had taught him his catechism
in youth, and was still his moral and spiritual adviser, jointly with the minister and
“A marvel, truly, that Goody Cloyse should be so far in the wilderness, at night-fall!” said
he. “But, with your leave, friend, I shall take a cut through the woods, until we have left
this Christian woman behind. Being a stranger to you, she might ask whom I was
consorting with, and whither I was going.”
“Be it so,” said his fellow-traveller. “Betake you to the woods, and let me keep the path.”
Accordingly, the young man turned aside, but took care to watch his companion, who
advanced softly along the road, until he had come within a staff’s length of the old dame.
She, meanwhile, was making the best of her way, with singular speed for so aged a
woman, and mumbling some indistinct words, a prayer, doubtless, as she went. The
traveller put forth his staff, and touched her withered neck with what seemed the serpent’s
“The devil!” screamed the pious old lady.
“Then Goody Cloyse knows her old friend?” observed the traveller, confronting her, and
leaning on his writhing stick.
“Ah, forsooth, and is it your worship, indeed?” cried the good dame. “Yea, truly is it, and
in the very image of my old gossip, Goodman Brown, the grandfather of the silly fellow
that now is. But–would your worship believe it?–my broomstick hath strangely
disappeared, stolen, as I suspect, by that unhanged witch, Goody Cory, and that, too,
when I was all anointed with the juice of smallage and cinque- foil and wolf’s-bane–”
“Mingled with fine wheat and the fat of a new-born babe,” said the shape of old
“Ah, your worship knows the recipe,” cried the old lady, cackling aloud. “So, as I was
saying, being all ready for the meeting, and no horse to ride on, I made up my mind to
foot it; for they tell me, there is a nice young man to be taken into communion to- night.
But now your good worship will lend me your arm, and we shall be there in a twinkling.”
“That can hardly be,” answered her friend. “I may not spare you my arm, Goody Cloyse,
but here is my staff, if you will.”
So saying, he threw it down at her feet, where, perhaps, it assumed life, being one of the
rods which its owner had formerly lent to Egyptian Magi. Of this fact, however,
Goodman Brown could not take cognizance. He had cast up his eyes in astonishment, and
looking down again, beheld neither Goody Cloyse nor the serpentine staff, but his fellow-
traveller alone, who waited for him as calmly as if nothing had happened.
“That old woman taught me my catechism!” said the young man; and there was a world
of meaning in this simple comment.
They continued to walk onward, while the elder traveller exhorted his companion to
make good speed and persevere in the path, discoursing so aptly, that his arguments
seemed rather to spring up in the bosom of his auditor, than to be suggested by himself.
As they went, he plucked a branch of maple, to serve for a walking- stick, and began to
strip it of the twigs and little boughs, which were wet with evening dew. The moment his
fingers touched them, they became strangely withered and dried up, as with a week’s
sunshine. Thus the pair proceeded, at a good free pace, until suddenly, in a gloomy
hollow of the road, Goodman Brown sat himself down on the stump of a tree, and refused
to go any farther.
“Friend,” said he, stubbornly, “my mind is made up. Not another step will I budge on this
errand. What if a wretched old woman do choose to go to the devil, when I thought she
was going to Heaven! Is that any reason why I should quit my dear Faith, and go after
“You will think better of this by-and-by,” said his acquaintance, composedly. “Sit here
and rest yourself awhile; and when you feel like moving again, there is my staff to help
Without more words, he threw his companion the maple stick, and was as speedily out of
sight, as if he had vanished into the deepening gloom. The young man sat a few moments
by the road-side, applauding himself greatly, and thinking with how clear a conscience he
should meet the minister, in his morning-walk, nor shrink from the eye of good old
Deacon Gookin. And what calm sleep would be his, that very night, which was to have
been spent so wickedly, but purely and sweetly now, in the arms of Faith! Amidst these
pleasant and praiseworthy meditations, Goodman Brown heard the tramp of horses along
the road, and deemed it advisable to conceal himself within the verge of the forest,
conscious of the guilty purpose that had brought him thither, though now so happily
turned from it.
On came the hoof-tramps and the voices of the riders, two grave old voices, conversing
soberly as they drew near. These mingled sounds appeared to pass along the road, within
a few yards of the young man’s hiding-place; but owing, doubtless, to the depth of the
gloom, at that particular spot, neither the travellers nor their steeds were visible. Though
their figures brushed the small boughs by the way-side, it could not be seen that they
intercepted, even for a moment, the faint gleam from the strip of bright sky, athwart
which they must have passed. Goodman Brown alternately crouched and stood on tip-toe,
pulling aside the branches, and thrusting forth his head as far as he durst, without
discerning so much as a shadow. It vexed him the more, because he could have sworn,
were such a thing possible, that he recognized the voices of the minister and Deacon
Gookin, jogging along quietly, as they were wont to do, when bound to some ordination
or ecclesiastical council. While yet within hearing, one of the riders stopped to pluck a
“Of the two, reverend Sir,” said the voice like the deacon’s, I had rather miss an
ordination-dinner than tonight’s meeting. They tell me that some of our community are to
be here from Falmouth and beyond, and others from Connecticut and Rhode-Island;
besides several of the Indian powows, who, after their fashion, know almost as much
deviltry as the best of us. Moreover, there is a goodly young woman to be taken into
“Mighty well, Deacon Gookin!” replied the solemn old tones of the minister. “Spur up, or
we shall be late. Nothing can be done, you know, until I get on the ground.”
The hoofs clattered again, and the voices, talking so strangely in the empty air, passed on
through the forest, where no church had ever been gathered, nor solitary Christian prayed.
Whither, then, could these holy men be journeying, so deep into the heathen wilderness?
Young Goodman Brown caught hold of a tree, for support, being ready to sink down on
the ground, faint and overburthened with the heavy sickness of his heart. He looked up to
the sky, doubting whether there really was a Heaven above him. Yet, there was the blue
arch, and the stars brightening in it.
“With Heaven above, and Faith below, I will yet stand firm against the devil!” cried
While he still gazed upward, into the deep arch of the firmament, and had lifted his hands
to pray, a cloud, though no wind was stirring, hurried across the zenith, and hid the
brightening stars. The blue sky was still visible, except directly overhead, where this
black mass of cloud was sweeping swiftly northward. Aloft in the air, as if from the
depths of the cloud, came a confused and doubtful sound of voices. Once, the listener
fancied that he could distinguish the accent of town’s-people of his own, men and
women, both pious and ungodly, many of whom he had met at the communion-table, and
had seen others rioting at the tavern. The next moment, so indistinct were the sounds, he
doubted whether he had heard aught but the murmur of the old forest, whispering without
a wind. Then came a stronger swell of those familiar tones, heard daily in the sunshine, at
Salem village, but never, until now, from a cloud of night. There was one voice, of a
young woman, uttering lamentations, yet with an uncertain sorrow, and entreating for
some favor, which, perhaps, it would grieve her to obtain. And all the unseen multitude,
both saints and sinners, seemed to encourage her onward.
“Faith!” shouted Goodman Brown, in a voice of agony and desperation; and the echoes of
the forest mocked him, crying — “Faith! Faith!” as if bewildered wretches were seeking
her, all through the wilderness.
The cry of grief, rage, and terror, was yet piercing the night, when the unhappy husband
held his breath for a response. There was a scream, drowned immediately in a louder
murmur of voices, fading into far-off laughter, as the dark cloud swept away, leaving the
clear and silent sky above Goodman Brown. But something fluttered lightly down
through the air, and caught on the branch of a tree. The young man seized it, and beheld a
“My Faith is gone!” cried he, after one stupefied moment. “There is no good on earth; and
sin is but a name. Come, devil! for to thee is this world given.”
And maddened with despair, so that he laughed loud and long, did Goodman Brown
grasp his staff and set forth again, at such a rate, that he seemed to fly along the forest-
path, rather than to walk or run. The road grew wilder and drearier, and more faintly
traced, and vanished at length, leaving him in the heart of the dark wilderness, still
rushing onward, with the instinct that guides mortal man to evil. The whole forest was
peopled with frightful sounds; the creaking of the trees, the howling of wild beasts, and
the yell of Indians; while, sometimes the wind tolled like a distant church-bell, and
sometimes gave a broad roar around the traveller, as if all Nature were laughing him to
scorn. But he was himself the chief horror of the scene, and shrank not from its other
“Ha! ha! ha!” roared Goodman Brown, when the wind laughed at him. “Let us hear which
will laugh loudest! Think not to frighten me with your deviltry! Come witch, come
wizard, come Indian powow, come devil himself! and here comes Goodman Brown. You
may as well fear him as he fear you!”
In truth, all through the haunted forest, there could be nothing more frightful than the
figure of Goodman Brown. On he flew, among the black pines, brandishing his staff with
frenzied gestures, now giving vent to an inspiration of horrid blasphemy, and now
shouting forth such laughter, as set all the echoes of the forest laughing like demons
around him. The fiend in his own shape is less hideous, than when he rages in the breast
of man. Thus sped the demoniac on his course, until, quivering among the trees, he saw a
red light before him, as when the felled trunks and branches of a clearing have been set
on fire, and throw up their lurid blaze against the sky, at the hour of midnight. He paused,
in a lull of the tempest that had driven him onward, and heard the swell of what seemed a
hymn, rolling solemnly from a distance, with the weight of many voices. He knew the
tune; it was a familiar one in the choir of the village meeting- house. The verse died
heavily away, and was lengthened by a chorus, not of human voices, but of all the sounds
of the benighted wilderness, pealing in awful harmony together. Goodman Brown cried
out; and his cry was lost to his own ear, by its unison with the cry of the desert.
In the interval of silence, he stole forward, until the light glared full upon his eyes. At one
extremity of an open space, hemmed in by the dark wall of the forest, arose a rock,
bearing some rude, natural resemblance either to an altar or a pulpit, and surrounded by
four blazing pines, their tops aflame, their stems untouched, like candles at an evening
meeting. The mass of foliage, that had overgrown the summit of the rock, was all on fire,
blazing high into the night, and fitfully illuminating the whole field. Each pendent twig
and leafy festoon was in a blaze. As the red light arose and fell, a numerous congregation
alternately shone forth, then disappeared in shadow, and again grew, as it were, out of the
darkness, peopling the heart of the solitary woods at once.
“A grave and dark-clad company!” quoth Goodman Brown.
In truth, they were such. Among them, quivering to-and- fro, between gloom and
splendor, appeared faces that would be seen, next day, at the council-board of the
province, and others which, Sabbath after Sabbath, looked devoutly heavenward, and
benignantly over the crowded pews, from the holiest pulpits in the land. Some affirm,
that the lady of the governor was there. At least, there were high dames well known to
her, and wives of honored husbands, and widows, a great multitude, and ancient maidens,
all of excellent repute, and fair young girls, who trembled lest their mothers should espy
them. 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. Good old Deacon Gookin had arrived, and waited at
the skirts of that venerable saint, his reverend pastor. But, irreverently consorting with
these grave, reputable, and pious people, these elders of the church, these chaste dames
and dewy virgins, there were men of dissolute lives and women of spotted fame, wretches
given over to all mean and filthy vice, and suspected even of horrid crimes. It was strange
to see, that the good shrank not from the wicked, nor were the sinners abashed by the
saints. Scattered, also, among their palefaced enemies, were the Indian priests, or
powows, who had often scared their native forest with more hideous incantations than
any known to English witchcraft.
“But, where is Faith?” thought Goodman Brown; and, as hope came into his heart, he
Another verse of the hymn arose, a slow and mournful strain, such as the pious love, but
joined to words which expressed all that our nature can conceive of sin, and darkly hinted
at far more. Unfathomable to mere mortals is the lore of fiends. Verse after verse was
sung, and still the chorus of the desert swelled between, like the deepest tone of a mighty
orga n. And, with the final peal of that dreadful anthem, there came a sound, as if the
roaring wind, the rushing streams, the howling beasts, and every other voice of the
unconverted wilderness, were mingling and according with the voice of guilty man, in
homage to the prince of all. The four blazing pines threw up a loftier flame, and
obscurely discovered shapes and visages of horror on the smoke-wreaths, above the
impious assembly. At the same moment, the fire on the rock shot redly forth, and formed
a glowing arch above its base, where now appeared a figure. With reverence be it spoken,
the figure bore no slight similitude, both in garb and manner, to some grave divine of the
“Bring forth the converts!” cried a voice, that echoed through the field and rolled into the
At the word, Goodman Brown stepped forth from the shadow of the trees, and
approached the congregation, with whom he felt a loathful brotherhood, by the sympathy
of all that was wicked in his heart. He could have well nigh sworn, that the shape of his
own dead father beckoned him to advance, looking downward from a smoke-wreath,
while a woman, with dim features of despair, threw out her hand to warn him back. Was
it his mother? But he had no power to retreat one step, nor to resist, even in thought,
when the minister and good old Deacon Gookin seized his arms, and led him to the
blazing rock. Thither came also the slender form of a veiled female, led between Goody
Cloyse, that pious teacher of the catechism, and Martha Carrier, who had received the
devil’s promise to be queen of hell. A rampant hag was she! And there stood the
proselytes, beneath the canopy of fire.
“Welcome, my children,” said the dark figure, “to the communion of your race! Ye have
found, thus young, your nature and your destiny. My children, look behind you!”
They turned; and flashing forth, as it were, in a sheet of flame, the fiend-worshippers
were seen; the smile of welcome gleamed darkly on every visage.
“There,” resumed the sable form, “are all whom ye have reverenced from youth. Ye
deemed them holier than yourselves, and shrank from your own sin, contrasting it with
their lives of righteousness, and prayerful aspirations heavenward. Yet, here are they all,
in my worshipping assembly! This night it shall be granted you to know their secret
deeds; how hoary-bearded elders of the church have whispered wanton words to the
young maids of their households; how many a woman, eager for widow’s weeds, has
given her husband a drink at bed-time, and let him sleep his last sleep in her bosom; how
beardless youth have made haste to inherit their father’s wealth; and how fair damsels–
blush not, sweet ones–have dug little graves in the garden, and bidden me, the sole guest,
to an infant’s funeral. By the sympathy of your human hearts for sin, ye shall scent out all
the places–whether in church, bed-chamber, street, field, or forest–where crime has been
committed, and shall exult to behold the whole earth one stain of guilt, one mighty blood-
spot. Far more than this! It shall be yours to penetrate, in every bosom, the deep mystery
of sin, the fountain of all wicked arts, and which inexhaustibly supplies more evil
impulses than human power–than my power at its utmost!–can make manifest in deeds.
And now, my children, look upon each other.”
They did so; and, by the blaze of the hell-kindled torches, the wretched man beheld his
Faith, and the wife her husband, trembling before that unhallowed altar.
“Lo! there ye stand, my children,” said the figure, in a deep and solemn tone, almost sad,
with its despairing awfulness, as if his once angelic nature could yet mourn for our
miserable race. “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. Evil must be your
only happiness. Welcome, again, my children, to the communion of your race!”
“Welcome!” repeated the fiend-worshippers, in one cry of despair and triumph.
And there they stood, the only pair, as it seemed, who were yet hesitating on the verge of
wickedness, in this dark world. A basin was hollowed, naturally, in the rock. Did it
contain water, reddened by the lurid light? or was it blood? or, perchance, a liquid flame?
Herein did the Shape of Evil dip his hand, and prepare to lay the mark of baptism upon
their foreheads, that they might be partakers of the mystery of sin, more conscious of the
secret guilt of others, both in deed and thought, than they could now be of their own. The
husband cast one look at his pale wife, and Faith at him. What polluted wretches would
the next glance show them to each other, shuddering alike at what they disclosed and
what they saw!
“Faith! Faith!” cried the husband. “Look up to Heaven, and resist the Wicked One!”
Whether Faith obeyed, he knew not. Hardly had he spoken, when he found himself amid
calm night and solitude, listening to a roar of the wind, which died heavily away through
the forest. He staggered against the rock, and felt it chill and damp, while a hanging twig,
that had been all on fire, besprinkled his cheek with the coldest dew.
The next morning, young Goodman Brown came slowly into the street of Salem village,
staring around him like a bewildered man. The good old minister was taking a walk along
the graveyard, to get an appetite for breakfast and meditate his sermon, and bestowed a
blessing, as he passed, on Goodman Brown. He shrank from the venerable saint, as if to
avoid an anathema. Old Deacon Gookin was at domestic worship, and the holy words of
his prayer were heard through the open window. “What God doth the wizard pray to?”
quoth Goodman Brown. Goody Cloyse, that excellent old Christian, stood in the early
sunshine, at her own lattice, catechising a little girl, who had brought her a pint of
morning’s milk. Goodman Brown snatched away the child, as from the grasp of the fiend
himself. Turning the corner by the meeting- house, he spied the head of Faith, with the
pink ribbons, gazing anxiously forth, and bursting into such joy at sight of him, that she
skipt along the street, and almost kissed her husband before the whole village. But
Goodman Brown looked sternly and sadly into her face, and passed on without a
Had Goodman Brown fallen asleep in the forest, and only dreamed a wild dream of a
Be it so, if you will. But, alas! it was a dream of evil omen for young Goodman Brown. A
stern, a sad, a darkly meditative, a distrustful, if not a desperate man, did he become,
from the night of that fearful dream. On the Sabbath-day, when the congregation were
singing a holy psalm, he could not listen, because an anthem of sin rushed loudly upon
his ear, and drowned all the blessed strain. When the minister spoke from the …