Brown tries to become a man who leans
too far over the edge of a pit. Thus the heavens darken and the symbolic pink
ribbon causes him to cry out in realization. He says “my Faith is gone!” (30),
as he laughs in despair. F. Walsh Jr. explains the storm in his soul and in the
forest then rises and he stumbles “into the heart of the dark forest depths
where there is symbolically represented the complete pervasion of all that he once
held dear” (F. Walsh Jr. 1). As Richard Fogle says, all the external manifestations
of his faith are turned upside down: “The Communion of Sin is, in fact, the
faithful counterpart of a grave and pious ceremony at a Puritan meeting
house…. Satan resembles some grave divine, and the initiation into sin takes
the form of baptism” Hawthorne’s Fiction: The Light and the Dark,
1952. As the external evidences of his religion are perverted, so is his very
Faith, which is symbolized by his discovering his wife in the unholy communion.
Secondly, there is the journey into Brown’s soul which
is dark and twisted and paralleled by his journey into the darkness of the
forest. When he enters the forest, the readers are told: “He had taken a dreary
road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest, which barely stood
aside to let the narrow path creep through, and closed immediately behind. It
was all as lonely as could be (…)” (25). This act is symbolic because of the
fact that he is plunging into the road which leads to despair and the immediate
closing of the trees symbolizes the shutting of his escape. He is alone and cut
off from humanity but with one companion; that being the Devil (F. Walsh Jr.

The Devil’s mass is an opportunity
for the reassertion of the natural impulses Brown must keep hidden in the
shadow. It gives him a chance to experience not only his other self but also
the free energies of nature for which his religious has no ordering. D.J.
Moores argues that while Brown is lifting his hands in order to pray, he hears
Faith’s voice. He calls out for her and she answers with a scream. Faith is
about to enter a meeting and so he then decides to attend as well because all
good is destroyed at this point in the story. The answer lies within the Jungian perspective in that Goodman Brown is
in fact seeking himself his lost and unwanted parts. The Jungian theory and
shadow refers to the “unconscious piece of a personality in which the ego does
not identify itself” (Moores 1). Carl Jung states that the Jungian theory is
the shadow of the unknown dark side of one’s personality. Jung believed that
the human psyche was fundamentally contradictory. Within every person’s soul,
there are “tendencies, feelings, characteristics, and complexes that do not
conform to ego consciousness” (Moores 1). This so called “other self” is the
double, the alter ego, the dark self, or as Jung put it, the shadow. Jung
believed the shadow is the first archetype to be encountered when one engages
the contents of the unconscious. Goodman Brown leaves the safety of his hearth,
his home, and his Faith to undertake a journey he knows is not in keeping with
who he thinks he is a good Christian husband: “What a wretch am I to leave
her on such an errand,” he says, chiding himself (Hawthorne 65). Yet, he
is compelled to go nevertheless, as if he knows that inner work is to be
completed on this evening deep inside the forest. Jungian theory recognizes two
centers of the psyche ego which includes the persona and conscious awareness. Unwanted
parts of the Self residing in shadow can and do compel the ego, often against
its wishes to engage in activities and express feelings not in keeping with
one’s conscious belief system. Goodman Brown, who is a pure, unstained, wholly
good Christian, embarks on the journey, crossing the threshold almost against
his will, but he also knows he is about to embark on journey to complete  devilish work (Moores 1). He justifies his
evil purpose with the notion that after this dark evening he will “cling
to Faith’s skirts and follow her to heaven” (65). What he is seeking in
crossing this threshold is true Self knowledge, which in Jungian terms,
encompasses far more than conscious awareness or ego-consciousness. Jungian
Self-knowledge requires the re-absorption of all parts of the unconscious,
which is Brown’s unconscious urge, and which is what Hawthorne was consciously
trying to demonstrate to us (Moores 1).         

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Brown is consciously unaware of the
true nature of his devilish journey and his non-Christian self has insisted he
split off and cast into the dungeon of the unconscious, cries out for
expression and demands he keep the journey to the woods intact. Unwanted parts
may be repressed, according to Jung, but they carry with them into the dungeon
a significant amount of “spiritual” energy, he says (Moores 1). Moores
says that consciousness is then reduced by the amount of repressed and subjugated
energies located in the dark shadow. Brown’s energies compel him forward
because they know they can find expression only in the dark forest. Brown is
not aware of his “own sense of sire has no concomitant sense of conscious
guilt, and can only see evil as originating somewhere outside of himself because
the nature of projection is to defend the ego against other elements in the
psyche that would prove inimical to it” (Moores 1). Brown is unconscious of his
evil and thus projects it onto every Puritan he knows. He is utterly unaware
that the scene in the dark woods is a projection of his own dark psyche.