At the beginning of the story, Goodman Brown’s name is discovered to be quite ironic. 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 o...
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...oyage. After seeing Faith in the forest, seemingly brainwashed by the devil, Goodman Brown abandons all of his inner convictions and lets the man get the best of him. He flies around the forest with a malignant aura. However, when Brown sees Faith for a second time in the forest, his faith returns, which frees himself from the devil. Moreover, Hawthorne uses this story as a metaphor for the Puritans. Because the Puritans rejected their faith and emigrated from the Church of England, Hawthorne believes it was an atrocious act. He uses the character of Faith to represent the actual faith of religion. Goodman Brown spurns Faith for the majority of the story, but when he needs her most, she liberates him from the ceremony. By accentuating Faith’s role both metaphorically and physically, Hawthorne underscores its importance to life, for a life without faith ends in gloom.
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