Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown - The Fall of Man into Sin

Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown - The Fall of Man into Sin

Length: 863 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓


Free Young Goodman Brown Essays: The Fall of Man into Sin

 

After reading this the first time, my first thought was "did this actually take place or did Brown just dream the whole thing?" Hawthorne purposely makes that fact ambiguous. He poses the same type of question in the end of the story. To me, this is appropriate. The story centers on evil being something hidden in this small town. The preacher goes about his praying, the old woman continues catechizing a little girl, etc. all after Brown has "witnessed" the witch meeting in the forest. By not being clear if this was a dream or not, Hawthorne supports the hidden nature that the people have in the story. He covers up the truth just as the village people hid their sinful life that Brown was witness to. This way, the story and the people in the village remain a mystery to the reader just as the truth remains a mystery to Brown.

Secondly, I noticed a lot of the re-reading papers on this story dealt with Faith as a character or Faith as a belief. (As Jennifer said, this story is a battle of faith and good and evil) To me, there is no escaping the fact that Faith is a representation of the "good" forces that oppose evil in the story. In the beginning, when Brown first leaves her behind, she tells him "God bless you" and "may you find all well when you return." Faith is about to be deserted for this meeting with evil in the woods. In Biblical terms, if you leave your faith behind, you may not find things the same when you try and come back to it. Brown also tells his evil partner "Faith kept me back awhile." Brown had to talk himself into meeting this person saying that after this one meeting he will follow faith to Heaven. His timid nature and willingness to go to Heaven (faith) delayed him just as much as his wife. After Brown has this meeting, Faith deserted falls into the hands of evil. He welcomes the devil when he finds his faith missing (sound familiar?) He finds a timid bit of hope when he asks where Faith is during the rituals he witnesses. At the last minute, Brown yells out to Faith to regard Heaven and resist temptation and at that moment the witch meeting dissolves.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown - The Fall of Man into Sin." 123HelpMe.com. 15 Dec 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=2567>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Young Goodman Brown Essay

- “Young Goodman Brown” – A Test of Faith Faith can be defined as complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” is a short story of a man’s battle with his faith when tested during a journey through a forest. Hawthorne uses symbolism to suggest that when individuals lose their faith in the goodness of men, they may begin to imagine that their friends or family has yielded to temptation. The main symbols of this story are Goodman Brown himself, his wife Faith, the traveler, he meets, and the forest, an evil place full of witches and devils....   [tags: Young Goodman Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Research Papers
772 words (2.2 pages)

Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Young Goodman Brown Essay

- In Nathaniel Hawthorne 's short story "Young Goodman Brown”, the abundant use of symbolism, mystery and suspense captures the reader’s attention almost immediately. From the beginning and throughout the entirety of the story, Hawthorne leads the reader into asking themselves the questions, "What is all of the symbolism, mysticism, characters, and scenery actually representing?" Hawthorne masterfully uses this symbolism to show Goodman Brown’s unconscious struggle with his personal religious faith and his faith in humankind....   [tags: Young Goodman Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Devil]

Research Papers
774 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of Nathaniel Hawthorne 's ' Young Goodman Brown '

- “Young Goodman Brown” is a short story written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The literary work entails a young man’s journey into the woods one night and stumbles upon a variety of people that will change his life forever, but not for the better. The overall tone for the passage is more skeptical in the beginning as Brown tries to figure out his stand on the subject of his puritan faith, however, the it shifts towards a more traffic tenor at the end as he lives with the consequences of his choices from the night in the woods when he decided to walk along side with the weary old traveler....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown, Hell]

Research Papers
782 words (2.2 pages)

Analysis Of Nathaniel Hawthorne 's ' Of The Same Name ' And ' Young Goodman Brown '

- In order to survive infancy and advance into adulthood, a healthy plant must first develop roots. These roots provide the nutrients that the plant needs to grow bigger and stronger, and, they allow the plant to weather any storm that may pass its way. There is a lesson to be learned from the plant, and Young Goodman Brown, a character from the allegorical short story bearing the same name by Nathaniel Hawthorne, could very much use this lesson. This tale details Young Goodman Brown’s struggle against his life of sin, his attempts to cling to his wife, Faith, and his horror at the swift decline of a society he believed to be holy into that of depravity and devilry....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown]

Research Papers
726 words (2.1 pages)

Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Young Goodman Brown, And Flannery O ' Connor 's Passage

- “Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself,” Rita Mae Brown once remarked. Temptation is all around, no matter where one might be, there is no use in going out and looking for it. For some individuals, the enticement is so strong that it has caused them to break away from the ties that once bound them to their upbringing, such as faith, but for others, it has brought them even closer to their faith. There is no questioning whether or not one would be strong enough to deny the temptation in order to remain pure, but, rather one’s faith is strong enough to go through the test that has been taking place since the very beginning when Adam and Eve were tempted in the Garden of Eden....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Young Goodman Brown, Goodman]

Research Papers
1175 words (3.4 pages)

The Allegory in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown Essay

- The Allegory in “Young Goodman Brown”       It is the purpose of this essay to show that Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” is indeed an allegory. M. H. Abrams defines an allegory as a “narrative, whether in prose or verse, in which the agents and actions, and sometimes the setting as well, are contrived by the author to make coherent sense on the ‘literal,’ or primary, level of signification, and at the same time to signify a second, correlated order of signification” (5).   Yvor Winters in “Maule’s Curse, or Hawthorne and the Problem of Allegory” says that Hawthorne is essentially an allegorist (11)....   [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]

Research Papers
2012 words (5.7 pages)

Puritan Depravity and Distrust in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown Essay

- Puritan Depravity and Distrust in Young Goodman Brown          Puritan doctrine taught that all men are totally depraved and require constant self-examination to see that they are sinners and unworthy of God's Grace. Because man had broken the Covenant of Works when Adam had eaten from the Tree of Knowledge, God offered a new covenant to Abraham's people which held that election to Heaven was merely a possibility.  In the Puritan religion, believers dutifully recognized the negative aspects of their humanity rather than the gifts they possessed....   [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]

Research Papers
2236 words (6.4 pages)

Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown and its Author Essay

-      Initially, of course, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s literary works went unranked among those of other American and British writers. But his reputation grew gradually even among contemporary critics, until he was recognized as a “man of genius.” Edgar Allen Poe, in a review of Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown,” which had been written 12 years prior, said in Godey's Lady's Book, November, 1847, no. 35, pp. 252-6: It was never the fashion (until lately) to speak of him in any summary of our best authors....   [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]

Research Papers
1266 words (3.6 pages)

Essay about Deep Allegory in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

- Deep Allegory in Young Goodman Brown        Herman Melville in “Hawthorne and His Mosses” (The Literary World August 17, 24, 1850), comments on the deep allegory found within Nathaniel Hawthorne’s tale, “Young Goodman Brown.” "Young Goodman Brown". You would of course suppose that it was a simple little tale, intended as a supplement to "Goody Two Shoes." Whereas, it is deep as Dante; nor can you finish it, without addressing the author in his own words--"It is yours to penetrate, in every bosom, the deep mystery of sin." And with Young Goodman, too, in allegorical pursuit of his Puritan wife, you cry out in your anguish....   [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]

Research Papers
2336 words (6.7 pages)

Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown's Apocalypse Essay

- 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]

Research Papers
1020 words (2.9 pages)

Related Searches

Faith is happy to see her husband and runs to him with open arms (just as in the Bible that when you finally regain faith you will be welcomed to Heaven with open arms). Brown is not happy to see her and turns away from Faith to regard the actions of others in the village. He is filled with doubt of others in the village and perhaps of himself after this meeting. Because of this, he can’t hear the songs of worship, he shrinks from Faith now all through life. When Goodman Brown went away from his Faith, he corrupted his life. He dies a "gloomy" death and never fully turns back to Faith. This to me is so classicaly religious it doesn’t even need this pitiful explanation I’ve tried to offer.

There is also the classic representation of the night and the deep, dark forest as a place of evil and temptation. We all know that only demons and goblins do their work at night and they usually do it in a dark, secluded place like the forest where humans can get lost and lose all faith. The forest becomes a real place of evil when the meeting starts…another classic example of witch stories. There are wild beasts, creaking trees, yells of Indians (who we all know were seen as savages during that time) and the faint toll of some bells. This sounds like a strange Halloween story to me. At any rate, we definitely have the setting for a story of temptation and evil.

Another thing that jumps out of this story is the bad guy’s staff. It is shaped like a snake and almost seems to come alive to Brown. My mind returns to Sunday school lessons of days past when someone had a staff that became a snake and Jesus was able to turn it back into a staff. Okay, that may not be exactly right but this definitely has a vague Biblical reference as well. Ironically it is this staff that leads Brown to the secret meeting in the woods. So, the devil and his staff have successfully gotten Brown to their meeting and it later destroys his life.

This story is a classic representation of the fall of man into sin. Brown loses Faith, never fully regains her and dies a gloomy death. If he had stayed home with his Faith, all this stuff would have never happened to him. He wouldn’t have any reason to doubt all the villagers and would have been able to enjoy life among them as he did before he discovered the secret meeting place. In short, don’t lose your Faith or you could fall into the hands of the Devil There’s a Sunday School lesson in there somewhere.

 
Return to 123HelpMe.com