Both authors Nathaniel Hawthorne and Washington Irving help develop their themes through the characters in the stories having to make decisions with the devil and also witnessing people they know make deals with the devil. Hawthorne has a deeper purpose in writing “Young Goodman Brown” because of his grandfather and the way he participates in the Salem witch trials. Hawthorne’s grandfather was a judge involved in some of the trials and never repented for his actions. Hawthorne vowed to separate himself from his family because of this and added the “w” into his last name.
Young Goodman Brown is the main character of the story and he is going off into the woods and he meets another traveller on the road who we infer early on is the devil. Brown is going to a meeting with the devil. When he arrives he sees that his childhood christian teacher is there as well as the governor and more christians that live in his community. He quickly realizes that people are not who they say they are and the people and leaders of his community have already given themselves to the devil even though they portray themselves as christians.