Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Young Goodman Brown”

  1. If we are to believe that Brown’s entire journey into the woods was a dream [“Had Goodman Brown fallen asleep in the forest, and only dreamed a wild dream of a witch-meeting? . . .”], and these experiences are only a product of his imagination, what was he supposed to learn from his experience?
  2. What lessons are readers supposed to learn from Brown’s experience?
  3. What role does religion play in Brown’s life before the “dream,” during the “dream,” and after he “wakes”?
  4. Is Brown as much a hypocrite as he believes the Deacon to be at the story’s end? Why or why not?
  5. Why doesn’t Brown remove himself from the church?
  6. If Brown is so appalled at his wife’s apparent involvement, why doesn’t he divorce her?
  7. Why is Brown’s journey described in the beginning as an “evil purpose”?
  8. Identify a quote that you think is significant with regard to the story’s moral or message. Explain why the quote is important and how it would effectively represent the story.

Sample Solution