Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Young Goodman Brown Essay

1449 WordsSep 27, 20166 Pages
“Young Goodman Brown” is a short story that is filled with symbols and mystery. Nathaniel Hawthorne provides plenty forms of symbolism for readers to digest. Hawthorne displays strong faith as the greatest virtue for a man or woman, and when the faith is compromised, one can be filled with skepticism and uncertainty towards the rest of the world. The story begins as a conventional allegory, creating the expectation that the characters will be able to consistently display the abstractions they symbolize. If Hawthorne intends Brown to be a pathological case, the intention is not clearly set in the early stages. The problem of man’s journey into the mystery of evil is presented in the broadest possible terms. Faith Brown, the wife of three months, is simply “Faith”, and Goodman Brown is everyman. The bargain he has struck with Satan is a universal one, reinforced by such signs of innocence. Brown convinces himself that he can turn away from his covenant and the assurances he offers himself are of good intentions. Initially, Brown is a naïve and immature young man who fails to understand the gravity of the step he has taken. Brown 's immaturity are succeeded by a presumably adult determination to resist his own evil impulses. His continuing willingness to join the community of sinners coexists with a reaction against that willingness. As the task of turning back becomes increasingly difficult, confronting him with one frustration after another, his struggle takes on heroic
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