The Struggle with Faith “Young Goodman Brown”, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a story that is meant to hold a larger truth about society. This story is comprised of many different symbols that work together to make that truth all the more clear to the reader. Hawthorne will accentuate the fact that faith is a choice, and each individual faces a struggle whether or not to accept faith as a part of who they are. He uses each character and event in the story as a representation of different influences that people are impacted by in the process of making a decision on faith.
Young Goodman Brown could have made a different decision by choosing not to go into the forest. Instead of making the choice to enter the forest, he could have chosen to follow the good path avoiding the evil path. If he had gone down a different path it would have prevented him from losing his belief, religion, and faith he had in God. By Brown going into the wicked forest, he changed as a person because he did not come out the same. After going into the forest Brown realized the world was evil and couldn’t see the good in anything no longer. “There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name” (Hawthorne, 1835, 319). If he stayed out of the forest he would have still had his religion and seen the good in people and things while living on Earth. While inside the forest he became confused, lost, and doubtful over his life. Brown lost the innocence that he once had and gain new awareness to things that he once couldn’t see
The presence of good and evil can plague the mind, as people must come to grips with the reality of freedom of choice. In “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the main character and protagonist, Goodman Brown, goes through an experience where he realizes everyone must choose regularly between good and evil. Realizing that many people fail to follow a path of righteousness, Brown begins to question his own faith. Through a dream-like state, Goodman Brown is exposed to negative influences that challenge his Puritan beliefs and religious morals. Hawthorne uses specific language, metaphors, and vivid biblical allusions in the story that help demonstrate Brown’s struggle with accepting the fact that people he loved and trusted may have succumbed to evil. Hawthorne demonstrates three important elements as he tells the story of Goodman Brown, which include: Brown’s own internal struggle, his awareness of external conflicts, and then his reaction to the realization of the good and evil that surrounds him.
Sin is inevitable. Every person sins, one way or another. Sinning is impossible to avoid even with “practice.” “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne shows readers that. Goodman Brown wants to believe he is a good man, and perhaps he is; but he is tempted by sin all the same. Sin will evade or persuade a person into allowing evil in men's and women's hearts, using honeyed words and trusted people against that person.
According to Merriam-Webster, betrayal is defined by leading astray, delivering to an enemy by treachery, failing or deserting especially in time of need, or revealing unintendedly. All of these defined forms of betrayal are prevalent in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, “Young Goodman Brown”. These acts of betrayal are exhibited on the protagonist by various characters throughout the plot, including the protagonist himself. This theme of betrayal contributes greatly to the protagonist’s character development and plot. Goodman Brown is betrayed by his family and community, however he is equally at fault for betraying his family and community, as well as his own beliefs. This betrayal leads the protagonist to question the world and people around him. The theme of this short story is that betrayal leads to consequences and these consequences can be nonstop.
In the exposition, Goodman Brown becomes doubtful of his ancestors, but he still trusts Faith and the Puritans. Firstly, he shows faith in God and his wife. Goodman Brown prompts Faith to pray before sleeping: “Say thy prayers, dear Faith, and go to bed at dusk, and no harm will come to thee” (Hawthorne 1). This quote characterizes Goodman Brown as a pious and incredulous young man because he wishes that God will protect Faith from harm. Then, Goodman Brown loses his certainty for his forefathers. When the old traveler tells him the truth, he exclaims in disbelief, “Can this be so?” (Hawthorne 4). In other words, Goodman Brown questions the faithfulness of his ancestors whom he admires. Although he starts to doubt his forefathers, Faith keeps him holy and innocent.
Faith represents the conflict as a symbol of Goodman Brown’s faith. He finds Faith’s ribbon in the woods, which symbolizes the fact that she was in the woods as well and losing her purity. The outcome of the novel is hinted at when Faith is seen in the “Devil’s” arms. “[T]he wretched man beheld his Faith” portrays the fact that his faith is now gone and he has nothing left to hope
A glimpse of evil, witchcraft, and the sudden loss of innocence.It's sunset in colonial Salem.Brown sets off on a voyage towards the forest near his hometown.as he leave, he gives a goodbye kiss to his wife, Faith. Faith begs young Goodman Brown not to leave her alone at night. The setting becomes frightening, and the challenges become more tought.First he come across an elderly witch.Follow by a couple of devil-worshippers.he then come encounter with a spooky "black mass of cloud". Shortly after, brown faces the devil himself and his minions.At last brown returns home safe from all the evil things.
When he finds the pink ribbon of his wife in the forest, Goodman Brown’s faith is weakened even further. Again Goodman Brown’s wife is used as a symbol of his own faith: “‘My Faith is gone!’ he cried, after one stupefied moment. ‘There is no good on earth, and sin is but a name. Come devil!
Both Faith, in “Young Goodman Brown” and Arnold Friend in “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” give the appearance that they are innocent, much like Satan does. “Faith, as the wife was aptly named, thrust her own pretty head into the street, letting the wind play with the pink ribbons of her cap,” in the beginning Faith’s innocence is very much in tact, and her husband, Goodman Brown, sees her as nothing less than an angel on earth.
1. The significance of the title is to demonstrate that the protagonist is a good person. That he wouldn’t do any actions to harm anyone in which is seen when he was having second thoughts of leaving his wife, Faith for the night by the look of her troubled face. Perhaps, the author named the story “Young Goodman Brown” in order to foreshadow his actions. The significance of his wife’s name is to show that there is still some faith and goodness in him left to overcome any negative influences.
1 In Hawthorne 's essay “Young Goodman Brown”, does it matter whether or not the protagonist, Goodman Brown, dreamt the events in the story? The idea and drive behind religious faith and belief is a concept consistently explored in Young Goodman Brown (YGB). The story explores Brown 's journey in a single night which inexplicably ends with a tarnished perspective on religious faith as portrayed by his fellow villagers. Brown himself grows to be disillusioned on faith but the events leading up to this shift however, is ambiguous at best, with the debate mostly centred towards the notion that Brown merely dreamt the events, resulting in an unfair and biased outcome in terms of his sentiment towards the villagers and his own belief.
All young men, when tempted, will give in, at least a little, resulting in the loss of their innocence. In the story “Young Goodman Brown”, the ill nature of his evening visit to the woods is on full display. He fears the questioning that will subsequently follow and what that will reveal if the catechism teacher discovers his tryst in the woods: “Being a stranger to you, she might ask whom I was consorting with and whither I was going” (1072). The essence of this encounter embodies the rest of the story in that all who have given into temptation know the truth and live with secret guilt. Hawthorne shows us Goodman Brown’s transformational pivot point into sin.
The pink ribbons faith puts in her cap are supposed to represent purity. The color pink relates to innocence and youth. Hawthorne speaks on Faith’s ribbons multiple times at the beginning of the story making her seem full of life and happiness. Hawthorne re-introduces the ribbons when Goodman Brown is in the forest. When Faith’s pink ribbon falls down from the sky, Goodman Brown perceives it as a sign that she has fallen into the realm of the devil. At the end of the story, when Faith approaches Goodman Brown as he returns from the forest, she’s wearing her pink ribbons again, so saying that she is
He fears that he has lost God’s grace, or fears that others may tempt him into sin. Uncertain of his place and of the intentions of others, he attempts to find the sin before it may taint him further. However, sin’s taint had already reached him. Weighted down by his constant search for certainty, Goodman Brown became “a sad” and “desperate man” (395). His sin haunted him until his final breath, “for his dying hour was gloom” (395).