Young Goodman Brown Questions
1. Who is the narrator of "Young Goodman Brown"? What advantages does the narrative point of view give the author?
The short story “Young Goodman Brown” is narrated in third person. The narrative point of view allows the author or narrator to have knowledge of the character’s thoughts and feelings throughout the story. An example of this narrative insight is depicted in paragraph seven “`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 tonight. 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.'' Here the narrator is able to detail what Goodman Brown is thinking as he takes leave of his wife and departs on his journey.
2. What does young Goodman Brown mean when he says "of all nights in the year, this one night must I tarry away from thee" (par. 3)? What is important about this night, and why does Goodman Brown believe he must journey '-twixt now and sunrise"?
When Goodman Brown states that he “must tarry away from thee” he is referring to his “present evil purpose”. He feels obligated to go on his journey and he must go in the cover of night so that no one learns of his intentions. He is ashamed of his choice to go.
3. Is Goodman Brown surprised to encounter the second traveler on the road, or does he seem to expect him? What is the significance of their encounter? What do you make of the fact that the stranger bears a strong resemblance to young Goodman Brown?
Goodman brown is surprised by everything he comes across while he travels into the woods. Because of the way the story closes it seems that the stranger that resembles young Goodman Brown and is referred to as old Goodman Brown is simply to foreshadow the...