Brown is consciously unaware of thetrue nature of his devilish journey and his non-Christian self has insisted hesplit off and cast into the dungeon of the unconscious, cries out forexpression and demands he keep the journey to the woods intact.
Unwanted partsmay be repressed, according to Jung, but they carry with them into the dungeona significant amount of “spiritual” energy, he says (Moores 1). Mooressays that consciousness is then reduced by the amount of repressed and subjugatedenergies located in the dark shadow. Brown’s energies compel him forwardbecause they know they can find expression only in the dark forest.
Brown isnot aware of his “own sense of sire has no concomitant sense of consciousguilt, and can only see evil as originating somewhere outside of himself becausethe nature of projection is to defend the ego against other elements in thepsyche that would prove inimical to it” (Moores 1). Brown is unconscious of hisevil and thus projects it onto every Puritan he knows. He is utterly unawarethat the scene in the dark woods is a projection of his own dark psyche. As Hawthorne’s story shows,encountering the shadow can be seriously destabilizing. According to Moores, GoodmanBrown dies as a miserable man due to the fact that he has engaged the contentsof the unconscious, facing part of himself that his religion deems unacceptableand demonic (1). According to Jung, the integration of dark unconscious elementscan only occur “if one’s conscious mind possesses the intellectualcategories and moral feelings necessary for their assimilation” (68).Goodman Brown, with his either/or, us/them morality, can do only little to makeroom in his consciousness for his satanic self which he thus experiences inprojection to his dying day. Everyone is satanic from his perspective becausehe cannot recognize his own inner Satan archetype (Moores 1).
From a Jungianperspective, Brown has stumbled upon a treasure trove of psychic energy butdoes not see it for the gold it truly is. He could have been made whole had hehad the correct intellectual categories and moral feelings and had he been morenuanced in his religious outlook. But instead, he experiences something on theorder of a sustained lifelong psychosis where he trusts no one, lest he becorrupted by evil. Jung believed there is “little difference between what thepsychotic and the mystic experience because he believes both take a plunge inthe same unconscious place, but the mystic knows how to swim because he canmake room for the material in his ego-consciousness, whereas the psychoticflounders helplessly, which is then overwhelmed by the waters of being” (Moores1). Brown is engulfed by a psychic wave that has the potential to cleanse himof the sin of not recognizing his own sinfulness, but we find out he fails anddrowns as we see him commit these sins. Brown lacks real faith and he then “adoptshis position of seeing his own evil in projection onto other people as a way tofeel a sense which is illusory of holiness in a culture which said a sinfullife is a sure sign that one was not one of the Elect” (Moores 1).
Jung wouldhave applauded Hawthorne for such criticism because he believed mostinterpretations of Christianity lacked a shadow vent. He believedChristianity’s simplistic pitting of good against evil, spirit against body,and God against Satan was inimical to and incompatible with the psyche, whichcontained a myriad of darker unconscious forces all making claims on theconscious ego. These forces needed to be integrated, according to Jung, notdivorced from consciousness and then disowned and demonized (Moores 1). Moores touches upon the significance of the Devil, who is a figure withstrong associations with nature plays such a primary role in Goodman Brown’sforest. The Devil is the supreme outcast and the premier symbol of shadow. Allgods and goddesses, according to Jung, are projections of us.
We are all “idolatersin this regard, creating gods and goddesses in our own image by projecting ourvirtues onto various omnipresent abstractions and calling them divine figures(Moores 1). So too is it with demons and devils: they are merely projections ofour 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 thereligion refuses to tolerate. Just as the forest reflects Goodman Brown’sunwanted and reconciled energies, Satan also does the same because he is thespecific embodiment of his shadow archetype.
The details presented throughoutthe story strongly support such a reading because the Devil appears to be “inthe same rank of life as Goodman Brown, and bearing a considerable resemblanceto him ….
they might have been taken for father and son” (66). The Devilis even dressed in the same manner as Brown. Later in the story, Goody Cloyserecognizes the appearance of the Arch-fiend as that of her “oldgossip”.
When the resemblance between Brown and the Devil is established,the narrator simply refers to