Essay on Loss of Faith in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

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Young Goodman Brown:  Loss of Faith   Faith can be defined, as a firm belief in something for which there is no proof. "Young Goodman Brown" is about a man who leaves his wife, Faith, at home alone for a night while he takes a walk down the road of temptation with the devil. Along the road he sees many people that he would never expect to see on this road, his wife included. He returns to his life in Salem a changed man. In "Young Goodman Brown" Nathaniel Hawthorne uses symbolism and characterization to imply that when individuals lose their faith in the goodness of mankind, they may begin to imagine that their peers have yielded to temptation.             Hawthorne…show more content…
He exclaims, "My Faith is gone!" "There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name. Come, devil! For to thee is this world given"(217). Goodman Brown's faith in humanity is completely destroyed. He concedes the earth and all mankind to the devil. At the end of the story Hawthorne shows that Brown's love for his Faith is damaged forever: "...he shrank from the bosom of Faith, and at morning or eventide, when the family knelt down at prayer, he scowled, and muttered to himself, and gazed sternly at his wife and turned away"(221). The journey had changed Brown's relationship with Faith, because it changed his faith in mankind.             Hawthorne uses characterization to imply that when individuals lose their faith in the goodness of mankind, they may begin to imagine that their peers have yielded to temptation. The journey through the woods changes Brown's thoughts about the goodness of mankind. When Brown first meets the other man on the road he is ready to end his journey quickly. Brown says to his companion, "My father never went into the woods on such an errand, nor his father before him. We have been a race of honest men and good Christians..."(213). Clearly he thinks he is the first of his family to walk down the road of temptation. He feels that all of New-England society would react negatively to anyone on the road: "...the least rumor of the
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