'Young Goodman Brown' Quotes

Portrait of Nathaniel Hawthorne
Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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Young Goodman Brown is a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne (author of The Scarlet Letter) that centers around a young Puritan in New England and his deal with the Devil. Young Goodman Brown is famous for being a representation of American Romantic literature and is often studied in American literature classrooms as an important short work involving the Puritans and other essential themes.

Read the story and check out some of the most iconic quotes from the story, then compare Young Goodman Brown with another famous American story about a man's Faustian deal with the Devil, The Devil and Tom Walker by Washington Irving.


"Prithee put off your journey until sunrise and sleep in your own bed to-night. A lone woman is troubled with such dreams and such thoughts that she's afeard of herself sometimes. Pray tarry with me this night, dear husband, of all nights in the year."

"The traveler knows not who may be concealed by the innumerable trunks and the thick boughs overhead; so that with lonely footsteps he may yet be passing through an unseen multitude."

"On he flew among the black pines, brandishing his staff with frenzied gestures, now giving vent to an inspiration of horrid blasphemy, and now shouting forth such laughter as set all the echoes of the forest laughing like demons around him. The fiend in his own shape is less hideous than when he rages in the breast of man."

"The young man sat a few moments by the roadside, applauding himself greatly, and thinking with how clear a conscience he should meet the minister in his morning walk, nor shrink from the eye of good old Deacon Gookin."

"With this excellent resolve for the future, goodman Brown felt himself justified in making more haste on his present evil purpose."

"He beheld the figure of a man, in grave and decent attire."

"But, irreverently consorting with these grave, reputable, and pious people, these elders of the church, these chaste dames and dewy virgins, there were men of dissolute lives and women of spotted fame, wretches given over to all mean and filthy vice, and suspected even of horrid crimes. It was strange to see that the good shrank not from the wicked, nor were the sinners abashed by the saints."

"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."

"The fiend in his own shape is less hideous than when he rages in the breast of man."

"Now are ye undeceived. Evil is the nature of mankind. Evil must be your only happiness. Welcome again, my children, to the communion of your race."

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Lombardi, Esther. "'Young Goodman Brown' Quotes." ThoughtCo, Aug. 27, 2020, thoughtco.com/young-goodman-brown-quotes-738333. Lombardi, Esther. (2020, August 27). 'Young Goodman Brown' Quotes. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/young-goodman-brown-quotes-738333 Lombardi, Esther. "'Young Goodman Brown' Quotes." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/young-goodman-brown-quotes-738333 (accessed February 6, 2023).