Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Young Goodman Brown

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When it comes to the topic of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown, most of us will readily agree that duplicity is a major theme in the piece, or the idea of different versions of reality. Where this agreement usually ends, however, is on the question of whether Hawthorne is implying that man is inherently evil. Whereas some are convinced that Young Goodman Brown was good until tainted by the Devil, others maintain that he was evil from the beginning and was completely aware of the evil he was indulging in. My personal view, however, is that Young Goodman Brown was inherently evil, but it did not come to light until the Devil began to influence Brown. This can be seen through the use of symbolism, biblical allusions, and the development of the main characters. While the Devil may have revealed that Young Goodman Brown was not as innocent and pious as he appeared, Brown was willingly indulging in sin and was inherently evil. Hawthorne’s use of symbolism throughout the piece explicitly shows that Goodman Brown was always sinful and inherently evil, rather than a pillar of pious virtue. it can be assumed that Young Goodman Brown is meant to represent man, or humanity, as a whole. He is intended to represent the average person living in the Puritan society at the time that the piece was written. The name of Young Goodman Brown’s wife, Faith Brown, is explicitly intended to represent his “faith”. She is described as wearing pink ribbons in her cap, as seen in “"with the

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