una storia sul Puritanesimo – Young Goodman Brown

Young Goodman Brown(1835) by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a short story set in 17th century Puritan New England.
One morning young Goodman Brown leaves Faith (=Fede), his wife and goes into the forest. There he finds the other people living in his town: they are all going to a clearing (=un luogo senza alberi) where a ceremony is taking place. He sees also his wife : they are brought in front of an altar as they are the only two of the townspeople not yet initiated to the forest rite. It seems a black Sabbath to celebrate the devil.  Goodman Brown tries to resist and everything disappears.
Back at the village the following day he does not know if he had a nightmare or if it was a real event. He loses his faith in his wife and in the whole community and starts living a solitary life …[…]”And when he had lived long, and was borne (= fu portato) to his grave (= tomba) …they carved (= scolpirono)  no hopeful (= di speranza) verse upon his tombstone, for his dying hour was gloom (= giudizio finale).”
The story is set during the Salem witch trials.  Hawthorne‘s great-great-grandfather John Hathorne was a judge at that time and  sent many people to prison or to the scaffold (= patibolo). Hawthornealways felt guilty (=colpevole) for what his ancestor (= progenitore) had done. For this reason Nathaniel Hawthorn added (= aggiunse) a w to the family surname, Hathorne.
In his works he always tried to question (= mettere in dubbio) about the puritan belief that taught (= insegnava) that man was intrinsically evil in nature and Young Goodman Brown  is an allegory about the recognition of evil and corruption of humanity.
Hawthorne gives the characters names that remember their qualities and sins (= peccati), like in a Medieval Morality Play. At the end the names are seen as a paradox: Goodman Brown  loses (= perde) his wife Faith, his faith in salvation, and his faith in human goodness.