“Young Goodman Brown” is a tale of a man’s battle with his faith. It is one of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s most complexing tales. Many unanswered questions arise as you read it. One of the most obvious questions is if these events are actually happening as reality, or if they are all a dream. I don’t believe that it really matters. The essay’s events still have the same impact on Brown’s life whether they took place, or were just a twisted nightmare. Richard Fogle in his essay “Ambiguity and Clarity in Hawthorne’s ‘Young Goodman Brown’” also notes the insignificance of the dream! “At any rate the effect on Goodman Brown is instantaneous and devastating” (210). “Young Goodman Brown” is an allegory about a man who has lost his faith due to the fact that he has based his faith on the people of his town, church, and his family.
Hawthorne sets the scene with Brown saying goodbye to his wife, Faith, as he embarks on his journey through the forest. This is representative of what every man goes through in his lifetime. We all must decide what we believe in at some point in our lives. It is human nature, and we have been doing it since the introduction of religion into society. Once Brown meets his travel companion, who I believe is the devil, he doesn’t want to continue on. He is recalling on what he was taught by his fellow members of the community that it is wrong to associate with evil. He has so much faith in them and what they taught him, that he continues on, forever believing that his faith will overcome the devil’s temptations. Brown draws strength from the admiration and reverence that he has for his family and spiritual teachers. His guide, Satan, begins to place doubt into the heart and soul of Brown’s spiritual foundation. He spe...
... middle of paper ...
...n taught and perceived to be faithful. The only problem is that his faith was not based on the right things. He drew strength from the people of his town, church, and his family, and his marriage. Unfortunately, all of these things had no true substance that could be used to resist the devil. In conclusion, I believe that Nathaniel Hawthorne used the story
“Young Goodman Brown” as a representation of a man’s life journey and what can happen to his faith if it’s not built on God Himself.
Fogle, Richard. “Ambiguity and Clarity in Hawthorne’s ‘Young Goodman Brown’” A Casebook on the Hawthorne Question. Ed. Agnes McNeil Donohue. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1963. 207-221.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “Young Goodman Brown” Literature An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Ed. Edgar V. Roberts Henry E. Jacobs. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1998. 324-332.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Faith plays a major role in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “Young Goodman Brown”. From the start of his journey to his arrival back home, Faith is always in the back of head, making him question his surroundings and own thoughts. It’s hard to determine when he’s speaking of his lovely wife Faith or his Faith in his God and religion. Through his many Young Goodman Brown’s journey begins with his departure from Faith, for he must “tarry away from thee.” (Nathaniel Hawthorne 1289) Could it be that he is questioning his very own Faith/religion and must test it on this very night.... [tags: Faith, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown, r]
590 words (1.7 pages)
- Is it possible for an author to utilize so much symbolism that it captivates the reader to the extent of paralleling the tale with their own life. The principle of symbolism is quite evident in the story by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Young Goodman Brown”. Nathaniel Hawthorn’s work is immersed with symbolism with most of it deriving from his Puritan beliefs. The themes of sin, guilt, innocence, and lust come forth through the uses of color symbolism as well as visual clues. All of these things are dealt with in everyday life in modern America.... [tags: Writers, Nathaniel Hawthorne,Young Goodman Brown]
1035 words (3 pages)
- Through out the course of history, those who were considered sinners were often out casted from the society. This is much the case with Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. After a public trial, Hester is considered a sinner due to her birthing of a so called “devil child”. Hester is convicted to the life long bearing of a scarlet letter on her chest. The Scarlet Letter that Hester Prynne wears symbolizes the change in perception of sin through out the novel. Due to the revelations of the governor Winthrop and the reverend Dimmesdale, the way sin is perceived changes from one of shame to the idea that every one is a sinner in their own right.... [tags: sin, religion, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Scarlet Letter]
878 words (2.5 pages)
- Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” is an excellent example of the use of allegories and symbolism as a form of satire on Puritan faith. According to Frank Preston Stearns, author of The Life and Genius of Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Hawthorne may have intended this story as an exposure of the inconsistency, and consequent hypocrisy, of Puritanism” (Stearns 181). Throughout the story of “Young Goodman Brown,” Hawthorne tries to infuse as many symbols and allegories as he can to enhance the overall meaning of his story.... [tags: Literary Analysis, Satire, Puritanism]
1196 words (3.4 pages)
- Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" Nathaniel Hawthorne’s story “Young Goodman Brown” portrays the growth of Young Goodman Brown through vivid symbolic setting. “Young Goodman Brown” is an allegory in which the setting is very important to the theme of the story. Throughout the narration, detailed setting and emblematic characters surround Goodman Brown. Goodman Brown is an Everyman character, which could be any one of us, struggling with his Puritan heritage, more specifically his spiritual faith.... [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]
1395 words (4 pages)
- Good and Evil in Young Goodman Brown In "Young Goodman Brown." Nathaniel Hawthorne considers the question of good and evil, suggesting that true evil is judging and condemning others for sin without looking at one's own sinfulness. He examines the idea that sin is part of being human and there is no escape from it. Of the many symbols he uses in this story, each has a profound meaning. They represent good and evil in the constant struggle of a young innocent man whose faith is being tested. As the story begins, Young Goodman Brown bids farewell to his young wife "Faith, as [she] was aptly named" (211).... [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]
790 words (2.3 pages)
- Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown's Apocalypse Most criticism and reflection of Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown centers on a good versus evil theme. Critics also debate interpretations of the main character's consciousness; is Brown awake or dreaming. What is certain is that he lives and dies in pain because his belief in his righteousness isolates him from his community. It is also certain that Hawthorne's interpretation of Brown's "mid-life crisis" has ambiguity and leaves a reader with many different feelings about what and why certain things have happened. Hawthorne's use of symbolism in his allegorical tale Young Goodman Brown causes th... [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]
1020 words (2.9 pages)
- Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a story about revealing true evil and the loss of one man's faith. Nathaniel Hawthorne left "Young Goodman Brown" up for many interpretations. After reading the story a couple of times, one thing became clear to me. What I absorbed from this story was that evil exists in everyone, does not matter how good we may think we are. Things aren't always what they seem. I say this because the people who attended the devil's meetings, were the ones who attended church with him.... [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]
2045 words (5.8 pages)
- Ambiguity in “Young Goodman Brown” There is no end to the ambiguity in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown”; this essay hopes to explore this problem. Peter Conn in “Finding a Voice in an New Nation” makes a statement regarding Hawthorne’s ambiguity: Almost all of Hawthorne’s finest stories are remote in time or place. The glare of contemporary reality immobillized his imagination. He required shadows and half-light, and he sought a nervous equilibrium in ambiguity.... [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]
1749 words (5 pages)
- Ambiguity in “Young Goodman Brown” Peter Conn in “Finding a Voice in an New Nation” makes a statement regarding Hawthorne’s ambiguity: “Almost all of Hawthorne’s finest stories are remote in time or place. The glare of contemporary reality immobillized his imagination. He required shadows and half-light, and he sought a nervous equilibrium in ambiguity” (82). There is considerable ambiguity in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown,” and this essay will examine this and its causes.... [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]
1640 words (4.7 pages)