Through the symbol of the serpentine staff, Hawthorne gradually shapes the idea that Goodman Brown is being gently and deliberately manipulated by the devil during their journey into the woods. While the “second traveler” that Brown meets may seem like an ordinary person, just another traveler making the same journey as the goodman, it is implied that this ...
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...e stupefied moment. ‘There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name. Come, devil; for to thee is this world given’” (Hawthorne pgs. 14-15). Goodman Brown loses his Faith, both literally and metaphorically. Fueled by this loss of faith, Goodman Brown tears through the forest toward the “heart of the dark wilderness, still rushing onward with the instinct that guides mortal man to evil.” After he loses his “Faith” to the satanic gathering taking place in the forest, Goodman Brown is no longer ignorant of the evil that is present in the lives of his fellow villagers, and he is aghast that such righteous people could partake in a feast so foul. Goodman Brown is never the same again as he has experienced a thorough and humbling loss of innocence. Hawthorne, through the symbolism of Faith and her pink ribbons, has done well to illustrate the goodman’s loss of innocence.
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