Why does Nathaniel Hawthorne write about good vs evil?

After reading Young Goodman Brown I wonder why Nathaniel Hawthorne only writes about good vs evil? The entire story of Young Goodman Brown was how the “good” people in his life were kind of corrupted by the devil or evil.

I think Nathaniel Hawthorne writes mainly about good vs evil because that is the main conflict in life. Everyone in their life struggles with good and evil. To be a “goody too shoes” or to just go along with the crowd even if you know it is wrong or people may look down on you. The story Young Goodman Brown tells how the people in his church were not who he thought they were. The lady who taught bible verses to children was a witch in his nightmare which made him trust her less when he woke up. The main thing that I thought was interesting is how Hawthorne made the Young Goodman Brown view prayers after his nightmare. After he woke up and he realized what had happened Goodman Brown hears prayers in church but he feels like the prayers are not sincere. He does not trust anything or anyone really when he wakes to from the nightmare. Hawthorne shows how a person can doubt the character of another by using their actions in a dream. If you have a dream about a friend doing something and then woke up thinking differently about that person just because it gets you thinking about things then maybe you can relate to Young Goodman Brown. Hawthorne I think did a really good job of showing the reader how drama or nightmares can affect reality. Some people think dreams mean certain things and have an underline connection to your life. I don’t really think so but I feel like Hawthorne may have thought dreams played a big part in how people see each other. For example before the nightmare Young Goodman Brown thought his wife, his preacher, his church members were great and wonderful and then after the dream he changed his mind completely. Hawthorne shows us that Young Goodman Browns dream made him over think and trust the members of his church less. He saw them doing evil things in this dream and then applied it to life. He even doubted his wife’s character since she too was in the nightmare. I did not find anything about why Nathaniel Hawthorne writes about good and evil a lot. Good and evil will always be a struggle and I think most of his work centers around that theme of good vs evil.


This photo is just an example of good vs evil. The devil vs Jesus. When I think of good vs evil that is what I think about.

“Words – so innocent and powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good and evil they become in the hands of one who knows how to combine them.”
― Nathaniel Hawthorne
I found this quote and I thought it was interesting because it speaks about good and evil. Words you say can be used for good or evil and I think that Hawthorne knew that and tired to make that clear in his stories. Hawthorne writes about good vs evil in just about every story. The theme of good vs evil will be used for forever and I think Nathaniel Hawthorne influenced the start of theme because he wrote about good vs evil early before most other writers.


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