Characterization Of Faith In Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

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Immediately in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story Young Goodman Brown the reader is introduced to a troubled character who is about to set forth on a journey that will make or break his most valuable beliefs. Hawthorn reveals to readers the dangers that come with testing your religion throughout the use of characterization and symbolism. Readers can assume the double meaning behind Goodman Brown’s wife's name, “Faith” to be a symbolization of his religion. Hawthorn's other use of symbolism is found in his use of the character who leads Goodman Brown deeper into the woods. This man is characterized to resemble the devil who, throughout the story, is ultimately leading him to temptation. By using these literary devices, Hawthorn is able to show readers how being naive while testing your faith can lead to a bad outcome.…show more content…
It is made clear to the reader through the use of characterization and Goodman Brown’s actions that he is ultimately not religiously grounded enough to be testing his faith. This is made obvious to the reader when Hawthorne writes, “This, of course, must have been an ocular deception, assisted by the uncertain light,” in reference to the man’s serpent-like staff that Goodman Brown notices as the man leads him deeper into the woods (Brown). This quote reveals two things to the reader; the man leading him into the forest is a symbolization of the devil and Goodman Brown is oblivious to that very fact. By using this quote as a means of characterizing him, the reader is able to conclude that he is making a mistake when he continues into the forest on his journey to test his faith. His faith, however is expressed through another character; Goodman Browns
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