Nathaniel Hawthorne is an author who discusses a variety of topics in his literary works. As versatile as these topics may seem his works of literature have a common variable, a character in which an experience makes that character sadder but wiser, or just sadder. A good example of this transition is in a literary work by the name of "Young Goodman Brown". In the Story a character named Young Goodman Brown is faced with what most consider to be life's inevitable journey; a journey which consists of two paths, one which is corrupted by evil but is rewarded with knowledge or the other path which is based solely on faith. The story tells of Goodman Brown's experiences, both mental and physical while on his journey, later showing how Goodman Brown's view of life and the people around him have left him very gloomy.
In the beginning of the story, Goodman Brown is feeling that he is impure compared to his wife and the rest of his community. "Say thy prayers, dear Faith, and go to bed at dusk, and no harm will come to thee." (Hawthorne 24), is evidence of the way Goodman feels about his wife Faith. He turns around and says this about himself, "What a wretch am I to leave her on such an errand! [ . . . ] [it] would kill her to think it." (Hawthorne 24). In these few lines Goodman Brown discloses his feelings about himself, thus sending him forth on his journey into the woods and on his path of life.
Goodman Brown's journey into the woods floods him with many decisions which are a direct effect of the obstacles that face him. Goodman says, "What if the devil himself should be .
at my very elbow!" (Hawthorne 25), just before noticing "a figure of a man" (Hawthorne 25), similar to himself, sitting under a tree. This "figure of a man" was Goodman's first obstacle. The figure is Goodman's companion and leader on the trail. Despite the resemblance Goodman makes a stand not to go any farther.