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Young Goodman Brown

Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Study Guide
Quotes

Important Quotes Explained

Quotes Important Quotes Explained
3. “By the sympathy of your human hearts for sin ye shall scent out all the places—whether in church, bedchamber, 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.”

Near the end of the story, the devil promises Goodman Brown and Faith that they’ll have a new outlook on life, one that emphasizes the sinning nature of all humanity, and condemns Goodman Brown to a life of fear and outrage at the doings of his fellow man. This dark view of life is a complete turnaround from the ideas that Goodman Brown had held at the beginning of the story. Then, he thought of his family as godly; Faith as perfectly pure; and the Reverend, Deacon, and Goody Cloyse as models of morality. The devil ultimately shows him that his views are naïve and gives him the ability to see the dark side in any human context. When Goodman Brown returns to the village, he trusts no one. As the devil’s speech suggests, Goodman Brown has seen the evil in every human, and once he has started seeing it, he cannot stop.