Young Goodman Brown Faith Analysis

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“Corruption of Faith”

“Young Goodman Brown” written by Nathaniel Hawthorne has intrigued critics since its publication in 1846 due to the main characters being used as representation for faith and humanity. Hawthorne is an early American writer whose dark romantic stories often focused on his Puritan heritage and the downfall of man. The story itself is said to be based on and a reflection of Hawthorne’s personal belief about human nature and faith. “Young Goodman Brown” is a confirmation of such beliefs, particularly the belief that having faith is an important asset and that faith can be corrupted and when it is, it can cause one to harbor hatred towards the world.
The story begins with the main character Young Goodman Brown bidding his
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The very first description of her “She thrust her pretty head into the street, letting the wind play with the pink ribbons of her cap.” (Hawthorne 449) is suggestive that she is innocent and pure much like Browns own Faith in his religion. Brown’s own replies to his wife are also suggestive that he is strong within his faith " 'Amen! ' Cried Goodman Brown. 'Say thy prayers, dear Faith, and go to bed at dusk, and no harm will come to thee '" (Hawthorne 449) After bidding his wife farewell he proceeds with his journey with “resolve for the future” even stating that he feels” justified in his present evil purpose” (Hawthorne 449). This statement alone destroys the perception of his “simple and pious nature.” (Hurley 413) Because he is knowingly going to partake in a sinful act but he still maintains belief in his faith that he will arrive home untainted from this wrongdoing and safe. As he makes his way through the forest he meets with a dark figure who tells him…show more content…
In a way it signifies that he still has his faith but because of the knowledge he now has of the rest of the world and the darkness in it, he is now withdrawn from everyone around him. Faith and Goodman Brown go on to live out a long life and they have children and even grandchildren. He never reverted back to his old self because even in his last moments “For his dying hour was gloom.” (Hawthorne 455) Throughout the story Hawthorne uses symbols such as the dark forest and the black mass to represent sinfulness and evil which surrounds everyone in this world. Even though Goodman Brown began to doubt his faith he still had faith in his moral beliefs but he no longer had faith that anyone else in the world held onto the same faith as he did. Because of this it made him cynical throughout the remainder of his days. He began to believe that there was evil everywhere and nothing could be done to change it. He no longer saw the good in anyone around him instead he saw everyone as hypocrites and became very unforgiving for those around him. But in all reality it is he who is the hypocrite. He forgot all that was taught to him through his faith, instead of loving and forgiving his fellow man for their wrongdoing he judged and condemned
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