Young Goodman Brown And The Prodigal Son Essay

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There is not a righteous man on earth who does not possess the proclivity to sin. Given the freedom to do God’s will or his own, man will instinctively choose to pursue his own. “Young Goodman Brown” and “The Prodigal Son” are two such men who soon realize that “The greatest temptations are not those that solicit their consent to obvious sin, but those that offer them great evils masking as the greatest goods” (Merton, Thomas, 1955). Nathaniel Hawthorne and the Apostle Luke reveal the sinful nature and spiritual transformation of their protagonists using conflict, symbolism, and irony. Comparatively, temptation is the root cause of the internal and external conflicts the confronting protagonists in “Young Goodman Brown “and “The Prodigal Son”. The allure of partaking in the hedonistic lifestyle of Babylon impassions the young son to fulfill his self-serving desires and to reject his father’s authority and principled…show more content…
The dark forest, as well as the city of Babylon, are also significant elements that the authors use to reveal the sinful nature of the young son and Goodman Brown. Babylon, the antithesis of Jerusalem, is “The great mother of harlots and the abominations of the earth” (Revelation 17:5, ESV). A city where the young son [You] “can never find lonesome place, A lonesome place to go down on your knees, And talk to your God, in Babylon, You’re always in a crowd in Babylon” and even further away from the Father (“The Prodigal Son”, para.11). Similarly, the dark forest, counter to the Garden of Eden, is symbolic of the fall of man. It is the place where Brown “came forth at sunset” to start a journey that needed to be completed “twixt now and sunrise”, denoting his journey into sin and away from the light of God (Hawthorne,
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