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Rock Street, San Francisco

Hawthorne uses Brown to create an awareness in the reader of the depravity that accompanies Puritanism. His intention is to make the reader use this awareness to deal better with life. He, thus, leaves the ending to the short story unsettled, leaving it up to the reader to decide whether the events in Young Goodman Brown are real or but a dream. He intends to show the reader that isolating oneself from society and completely rejecting everyone who has sinned, such as Brown does towards the end of the story, merely leads to desperation, misery and a gloomy end. Moreover, Hawthorne shows his disapproval of the judgmental actions of puritans who convicted witches in Salem and the participation of the people following blindly. For example, Brown would spend his remaining life in misery, but without condemning these people publicly, which the congregation did during the witch trials of Salem. At this point, it is of no importance that the events may have been but a dream.

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