Essay about Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Young Goodman Brown

Essay about Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Young Goodman Brown

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“Young Goodman Brown” is a story about a Salem inhabitant who brawls with his religious faith. He is met and swayed by an Old man (devil) in the forest to follow a dark path down to a formality. Throughout the short story, Young Goodman Brown starts questioning and doubting his faith due to the events taking place in the forest. The individuals around him seem to hold a heavy influence of how strong his own belief should be. It is never told if what happened that day in the forest was reality or simply a corrupt dream, but Young Goodman Brown 's life was a scuffle from that day forward. I will converse how the author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, makes Brown’s “faith” corruptible by using themes and symbols that have a binary meaning in the story.
Hawthorne uses multiple objects that denote the state of religion which Young Goodman Brown conveys within himself. For example, at the beginning of the story we are introduced to Brown’s wife who is named Faith. She is styled as a youthful, innocent woman with her pink ribbon around her cap. When Young Goodman Brown is met by the old man/devil he states “Faith kept me back awhile”(141), this could represent both his wife, Faith, and the faith he possess within himself. During the communion in the forest, Faith is revealed to be a devil’s follower as well. Brown takes hold of the pink ribbon that his wife Faith would wear, and cries “my faith is gone” (408). This represents the faith of Young Goodman Brown waning in the forest along with his wife, it shows the readers how swiftly and easily our religious faith can be tainted by the society around us.
There could be some readers that might insist that the ribbon that Faith is wearing might symbolize something different other than Young Goodman B...


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... a good Christian, and the betrayal of a loving husband.
In this story Hawthorne shows how our faith can become weak when we care too much of how it appears to the people around us. Young Goodman Brown based his faith on the people in Salem, his wife Faith, Goody Cloyse, The Minister, and Deacon Gookin, during an era of when the loss of religious faith was at an all-time high. The day he decided to follow the path into the forest and meet up with the devil, this was the day Young Goodman Browns surroundings were altered. He was shown by the devils, that not only was his grandfather and father the devils followers, but also those who lived closed to him in Salem. Hawthorne uses a lot of different symbols and themes to describe the short story of “young Goodman Brown” such as the Pink Ribbon, the Oldman in the forest and the time period of when this story took place.

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