Themes

Themes

The theme of a story represents the central conflict going on over the course of the whole
story. A story can have several themes at one time. ?Young Goodman Brown?, written by
Nathaniel Hawthorne is an example of a story with many themes. The two major themes
throughout the story are the conflict of good vs. evil and morality vs. temptation. Another
more minor theme in story is person vs. insanity.
In the theme of good vs. evil, Goodman Brown is faced with the decision of
staying with his Christian faith or joining the evil side. When hiking through the woods to
the Satan-worshiping spot with the other man, Goodman Brown wants to go back to
Salem to be with his wife since he kept up his end of the bargain. He tells the other man,
“Friend, having kept covenant by meeting thee here, it is my purpose now to return
whence I came.”(132) He says this because he feels like he is betraying his religion by
staying with this man. Another way to relate this theme is that Goodman Brown seems
like the only person in the town who has not yet converted to Satanism so he may drop
his Christian ways just to be like everyone else. A

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