because we see him commit these sins. Brown

because he believes both take a plunge
in the same unconscious place, but the mystic knows how to swim because he can
make room for the material in his ego-consciousness, whereas the psychotic
flounders helplessly, which is then overwhelmed by the waters of being” (Moores
1). Brown is engulfed by a psychic wave that has the potential to cleanse him
of the sin of not recognizing his own sinfulness, but we find out he fails and
drowns as we see him commit these sins. Brown lacks real faith and he then “adopts
his position of seeing his own evil in projection onto other people as a way to
feel a sense which is illusory of holiness in a culture which said a sinful
life is a sure sign that one was not one of the Elect” (Moores 1). Jung would
have applauded Hawthorne for such criticism because he believed most
interpretations of Christianity lacked a shadow vent. He believed
Christianity’s simplistic pitting of good against evil, spirit against body,
and God against Satan was inimical to and incompatible with the psyche, which
contained a myriad of darker unconscious forces all making claims on the
conscious ego. These forces needed to be integrated, according to Jung, not
divorced from consciousness and then disowned and demonized (Moores 1).

Moores touches upon the significance of the Devil, who is a figure with
strong associations with nature plays such a primary role in Goodman Brown’s
forest. The Devil is the supreme outcast and the premier symbol of shadow. All
gods and goddesses, according to Jung, are projections of us. We are all “idolaters
in this regard, creating gods and goddesses in our own image by projecting our
virtues onto various omnipresent abstractions and calling them divine figures
(Moores 1). So too is it with demons and devils: they are merely projections of
our unwanted parts or those elements that do not fit our sense of ego-self.
Satan, according to Jungian theory, is Christianity’s shadow; he is all the
religion refuses to tolerate. Just as the forest reflects Goodman Brown’s
unwanted and reconciled energies, Satan also does the same because he is the
specific embodiment of his shadow archetype. The details presented throughout
the story strongly support such a reading because the Devil appears to be “in
the same rank of life as Goodman Brown, and bearing a considerable resemblance
to him …. they might have been taken for father and son” (66). The Devil
is even dressed in the same manner as Brown. Later in the story, Goody Cloyse
recognizes the appearance of the Arch-fiend as that of her “old
gossip”. When the resemblance between Brown and the Devil is established,
the narrator simply refers to the latter as “old Goodman Brown” (68).
At first glance a reader with a Christian orientation might take the
similarities between the two characters as deviltry, as the arch-fiend working
his wiles and insidiously taking on the appearance of a Puritan whose soul he
is about to steal (Moores 1). But to read the character in such a way is to
fail, just as Brown does, to recognize the projection. Hawthorne is aware of
what he was doing. Brown surely would recognize a figure who remarkable
resembled his father and grandfather and thus himself. However, there is no
indication that he sees himself reflected in the Devil. Although it is true
that from the Christian perspective one may argue that he is tricked, but in a
Jungian reading, and from Hawthorne’s perspective, “we as readers must interpret
this with some subtlety’ and see the Devil as Brown’s own projected psychic
energies, his own shadow self externalized and granted sway over him” (Moores
1).

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