The Struggle With Faith In Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

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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. The protagonist, Young Goodman Brown, is one of the first and most important symbols in this story. As the name itself indicates, he is meant to represent someone who is young, not in age, but in experience. During the setting of the story, the name goodman was used to refer to anyone you meet, so it may be suggested that he symbolizes the general population. His experience and situation is not a unique one and many others have dealt with a similar struggle. The next most important symbol is Young Goodman Brown’s wife, Faith. Yet again, Hawthorne has made these symbols clear to his readers by naming the characters in such a way that the reader makes a clear connection to what it is that they symbolize. Faith represents Young Goodman Brown’s faith in God and people. We know that he grew up in a christian family after the Devil was telling him that he was acquainted with his father and grandfather, a generation
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