Importance Of Faith In Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

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“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible,” was once said by the Catholic priest Thomas Aquinas. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “Young Goodman Brown,” Goodman Brown strays from his faith, resulting in a miserable life. At the beginning of the story, he rejects the wishes of his wife, aptly named Faith, to stay home with her. Instead, Goodman Brown goes on a journey with the wicked old man. The man tests Brown’s integrity and character; Brown is unable to stop himself from following the devil, as the devil gives Brown the only faith he has – to follow him. Once Brown sees Faith’s pink ribbons in the forest, he rages. He becomes a wicked man, haunting over everything in the wicked woods. However, Brown later sees Faith at the ceremony, and when he sees her, he snaps back into reality and returns home. Nathaniel Hawthorne, a descendent of the Puritans, uses Goodman Brown’s character to show his disapproval of his ancestors; Brown leaves…show more content…
Faith begs of him to stay the night and postpone the journey, as this is the night she needs him most. Instead of living up to his name and showing faith in Faith, Brown dismisses his wife’s needs: “My journey, as thou callest it, forth and back again, must be done ‘twixt now and sunrise” (640). Already, Brown has displayed his selfish behavior. He refuses to listen to his wife’s wishes, and seems content on his decision to ignore her. After leaving her alone at home for the night, he says, “Poor little Faith! What a wretch am I to leave her on such an errand” (640). Even in his conscience, he knows that he belittles Faith, yet he believes that he has enough conviction in his task to feel “justified in making more haste on his present evil purpose” (640). Overall, Brown chooses to undergo his own task before while forgoing his wife’s notions, therefore forgoing faith for his own
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