The term arrogant is an adjective that is defined as, "Having or showing an exaggerated opinion of one's own importance, merit and ability." People who are considered to be arrogant are usually disliked by their peers due to their egotistical and self-righteous attitudes. In Nathaniel Hawthorn's "Young Goodman Brown" and Flannery O" Connor's "Good Country People" the central characters, Goodman Brown and Hulga, are extremely arrogant people. Although both characters are considered arrogant and egotistical, the nature of Brown and Hulga's arrogance is very different. Goodman Brown's arrogance was a product of his pride, self-righteous beliefs, and his inability to see the good in others. In contrast, Hulga Freeman's arrogance was due to her education which was an attempt to overcompensate for her physical deformities. The consequences of their arrogance, however, were very similar in that they both became victims of their own ego and pride.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown", Goodman Brown is a young professing Christian from Salem, Massachusetts, who prepares for a journey through the forest on an evil errand. His wife of three months, Faith, has no idea of her husband's purpose and pleads with him to stay overnight, but his curiosity drives him to continue. Brown states, " and after this one night I"ll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven." Shortly after Brown's journey begins in the forest he is greeted by the devil, and it becomes apparent that he is on his way to witness a witches" Sabbath. This seems remarkable for a man that is supposed to be a devout Christian. .
As they continue to walk through the forest, Goodman Brown seems to have no fear of his companion, but begins to have second thoughts and says; "My father never went into the woods on such an errand, nor his father before him. We have been a race of honest men and good Christians since the days of the martyrs- In a shocking revelation the devil reveals that Brown's ancestors were servants of the devil, as well as the rest of New England society.