The Prodigal Son Character Analysis

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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 way of…show more content…
The temptations of the world beyond their realm, lead each man down a path to very different, but profound spiritual discoveries. The Prodigal Son’s journey to a far country leads him to squander his legacy on drunkenness and licentiousness. Young Goodman Brown’s “faithful” pilgrimage results in a mind-altering perception of his world. While The Prodigal Son recognizes his sins, and kneels before his Father: devout Puritan, Young Goodman Brown, is unable to reconcile with the sin of others, thus remains blind to his own iniquities, forever turning away from his Father. While the young son opens his eyes to the love and forgiveness of the Lord, Brown fails to see “The sin underneath all our sins is to trust the lie of the serpent that we cannot trust the love and grace of Christ and must take matters into our own hands” (Martin
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