The Symbolism Of Faith In Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

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In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, “Young Goodman Brown”, the author uses themes of suspense and mystery to keep readers entertained. Throughout the story from beginning to end, Hawthorne uses many forms of symbolism that make the story what it is. The most important of all symbols is his dying faith. The author makes it very clear that faith should be of all importance to any man or women, without faith your outlook on the world will be turned around and full of skepticism and doubt. Goodman Brown’s faith began to be compromised and destroyed the second he stepped foot into the woods.
Hawthorn names Goodman’s wife Faith to constantly remind the readers of the symbolism of his faith throughout the story. As Hawthorn introduces Faith into the story he says, “...the wife was aptly named, thrust her own pretty head into the street, letting the wind play with the pink ribbons of her cap.” suggesting that she is honest and pure comparing it to Goodman’s own faith. When Goodman enters the woods, he is greeted by an old man, presumably the devil, and his faith is questioned. The old man asks Goodman to come to a meeting that he knows would be full of sin. In response Goodman
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As he sees the town minister and Deacon Gookin headed into the black mass, he is surprised and slightly shaken up but he responds with, “‘ With Heaven above, and Faith below, I will yet stand firm against the devil ’” Again, showing his determination to remain in faith. Goodman Brown continues to see many important religious figures in his community make their way to the black mass meeting and faith begins to wane. His faith is fully destroyed when he finds his wife's pink ribbon on the ground in the forest. Again Goodman Brown's wife is used to symbolize his own faith: “‘ My Faith is gone!’ Cried he, after one stupefied moment. ‘ There is no good on earth, and sin is but a name. Come devil! For to thee is this world
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