Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Young Goodman Brown

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Short story, Young Goodman Brown, by Nathaniel Hawthorne is set in Puritan New England. Hawthorne uses symbolism, description, scenery, and Goodman’s journey to illustrate and symbolize the battle of good versus evil. In the first scene, we see how Young Goodman Brown leaves his wife, Faith, to start on his “evil” journey through the woods. Though Faith asks him to stay with her, he chooses to continue on even though he knows the evilness lies ahead. As the story continues, we see how Hawthorne uses Faith as not only Goodman’s wife, but as a symbol for his own religious belief. The further Brown travels into the woods, the darker and gloomier his surroundings become. He also uses the forest to introduce characters that represent evil or…show more content…
And Faith, as the wife was aptly named, thrust her own pretty head into the street, letting the wind play with the pink ribbons of her cap while she called to Goodman Brown” (Hawthorne). Here, the author clearly states that Faith was named after the concept of faith. This allows the reader to associate Goodman’s relationship with his wife Faith with his journey associated with his faith in God. “Well, she 's a blessed angel on earth; and after this one night I 'll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven." (Hawthorne). He sees faith as “an angel on earth” and points out that he won’t wander again “after this one night”. This symbolizes the trouble he may face ahead and the “angel”/goodness he is walking away from. Goodman Brown always relies on his Faith when everything else in his life seems to be corrupted. As the story continues and Brown travels through the woods, he faces many obstacles and is tempted by many characters. “The young man sat a few moments by the roadside, applauding himself greatly, and thinking with how clear a conscience he should meet the minister in his morning walk, nor shrink from the eye of good old Deacon Gookin. And what calm sleep would be his that very night, which was to have been spent so wickedly, but so purely and sweetly now, in the arms of Faith!” (Hawthorne). In this part of the
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