Characterism In Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Nathaniel Hawthorne is a well known American novelist and short story writer. He was born on July 4, 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts and died on May 19, 1864 in Plymouth, New Hampshire. When Hawthorne was a child, he suffered a leg injury that left him unable to move for various months. During his paralyzation, he developed a “voracious appetite for reading and set his sights on becoming a writer” (Biography.com Editors). In the years that followed, Hawthorn was able to attend and graduate from Bowdoin College with the financial help of his uncles. During his time in college, Hawthorne, became friends with American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and future president Franklin Pierce. After college, Hawthorne worked as the editor for an american …show more content…
Most of Hawthorne’s writings, “deals with conflicted characters whose hearts and souls are torn by sin, guilt, pride, and isolations” ().Written in 1835, Hawthorne’s short story, Young Goodman Brown exemplifies most of these qualities. The title of the story describes the the main character, Goodman Brown, because he is young and he is “good.” However, when Goodman Brown ventures into a dark forest to meet with the devil, he undergoes changes and he is no longer the good Christian man that he was before. During his time is the forest, the devil tested Goodman Brown’s faith several times, but Brown’s refusal to give up to evil helps him conserve his faith. However, despite Brown’s refusals, he eventually gives up to evil, not only losing his faith but his innocence as well and as a result of this, Brown lives a life full of doubt and …show more content…
When Goodman Brown arrives to the dark forest, the devil says,“You are late, Goodman Brown,” and Brown responds, “ Faith kept me back a while” (Hawthorne 808). The name Faith in the story is important because apart from being just a name it also symbolizes, Goodman’s own religious faith. Therefore, when Brown says, “Faith kept me back” not only is Goodman referring to his wife but he is also referring to his own religious faith. Later in the forest, Goodman Brown’s wanted to go home to Faith. Goodman Brown told the devil, “ Having kept covenant by meeting thee here, it is my purpose now to return whence I came. I have scruples touching the matter thou wot’st of ” and he continued by saying “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 since the days of the mafrtyrs…” (Hawthorn 808-809).However, the devil surprises Young Goodman Brown when the he tells him that he knew his father and that in fact, they were well acquainted. The devil tells Goodman that it was he who helped his grandfather when he lashed a Quaker woman and set fire to an Indian Village. Young Goodman Brown is surprise because he thought that everyone in his family was good, but it turns out he was

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