Symbols and Symbolism in Young Goodman Brown

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Within the Christian faith, there lies the belief that all mankind are born sinners and through their faith can seek redemption. This belief can be found in more detail within the Christian text known as the Bible. An example of this can be found in the Genesis chapter of the Bible which portrays that even the very first Humans ever to be created in God’s image, named Adam and Eve, defied God despite his pre-emptive warnings not too because of their natural tendency as humans to sin. Not only can one chose with their own will to disobey God but one’s faith can be easily swayed by the evils of the world therefore sin can forever bind them in chains for eternity. “Young Goodman Brown,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, reveals a similar resemblance of the Biblical inherent evil among man, through a disturbing dream of a young Puritan man who journeys into evil and is forced to examine the nature of evil among the human race.

The Wife of Goodman Brown symbolizes the love that a wife has for her beloved husband but also the love, faith and devotion that her husband Goodman Brown has in his Christian God. An example of this symbolism is when Goodman Brown says “she’s a blessed angel on earth; and after this one night, I’ll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven” (265). Coincidently, her name is Faith. Hawthorne opens the story with the immediate mention of Faith which according to the Bible, in order to escape the grips of evil you must cling to it, to her, to Faith. Faith’s warning in the beginning of the story symbolizes Goodman Brown’s religious faith warning him of what is ahead and to save him the grief he will encounter which Hawthorne foreshadowed to the reader that something evil lurked ahead. Further into the stor...

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...ng Goodman Brown.”

In conclusion, within the Genesis chapter of the Bible, Adam and Eve defy god because of it being in their human nature to succumb to evil easily. Not only can one chose with their own will to disobey God but one’s faith can be easily swayed by the evils of the world therefore sin can forever bind them in chains for eternity. Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne reveals a similarity to the Biblical inherent evil among man, by focusing on a disturbing dream of a young Puritan man who journeys into evil and is forced to examine the nature of evil among the human race.

Works Cited

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “Young Goodman Brown.” The Norton Introduction To Literature. 9th ed. Booth, Alison, et al, eds. New York: W. W. Norton, 2005. 264-273. Print.
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