The purpose served by women in the forest is different according to the two short stories. In “Young Goodman Brown” Female purity is tested. Faith’s presence in the forest is proof enough for Goodman that there is no good at all in the world. Goodman was clinging on to Faith’s purity in order for him to shore up his goodness. In the Story Godman says to himself, “After this one night, I’ll cling to her skirt and follow her to Heaven” (Hawthorne). After Faith shows up in the woods he losses all faith and believes that nothing good exists in the world. In The mother’s in the woods, women’s purpose in the woods is to strengthen their mother-child relationship with their children “We owe it to our children, we have to be able to do hard things, whatever it takes.” They believe they should be there and this purpose is solely created by them. Contrary to that, In Young Goodman Brown That purpose is Goodman’s creation. The narrator seems to know all Goodman is going through as he depicts his reaction to Faith’s presence vividly, His idea of women’s purpose in the forest is well established through his narration. On the other hand Wisdom also seems to be fully aware of the role of the woman in the forest as she brings out all the emotions Daphne experiences and makes resolutions as well.
Goodman has conflicting ideas. He goes into the forest believing in other people’s faith until he is convinced otherwise by the devil. He displays his innocence as well as corruptibility, a spiritual dualism. He believes in the inherent good of people but still goes ahead to believe the serpent that the devil has taken over everyone’s mind. “”Faith kept me back awhile,” replied the young man” (Hawthorne) Goodman displays his innocence. “Well said, Goodman Brown! I have been as well acquainted with your family as with ever a one among the Puritans; and that’s no trifle to say.” (Hawthorne). The serpent changes his entire perception of his father who he trusted and believed in his faith.