Faith And Personal Conflict In Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

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What does the word faith mean? It can be a name, religious reference, or general obedience. The word "faith" repeats throughout the text "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The main character, Young Goodman Brown, goes on a journey through the dreary woods of Salem village to find himself at a devil worship meeting. The word faith contributes to the reflection of Goodman 's personal conflict throughout the story. Hawthorne uses faith to create an ambiguous idea for the reader to interpret for him or herself. Faith also serves as a symbol in "Young Goodman Brown." Faith represents Goodman 's wife, and Goodman 's personal religious faith. This simple word helps all the themes of the story tie in together and create a better understanding …show more content…
Goodman thinks he is good in faith at the beginning of the story by saying "I 'll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven." The reader may assume that Goodman loses his faith as the story progresses, but he actually finds his terrifying true faith (Conolly 370-371). The old man explains to Goodman that he has lead many Christians and even Goodman 's family to the devil. This information helps influence Goodman 's personal choice to keep going. Goodman 's curiosity is an example of temptation in the story, which is another theme Hawthorne displays. The devil explains that Goody Cloyse is also included in the evil meetings. Goodman goes on to ask "Why should I quit my dear Faith and go after her?" Goody Cloyse is a teacher of the gospel, and the fact that she is going to the evil meeting provides more temptation for Goodman to keep on going. Goodman sees all the local people from church such as Goody Cloyse and the minister. All these small things lead to Goodman 's realization of his faith being more demonic rather than divine. This idea ties into hiding behind sin, and a suspicion of one 's personal sin. Goodman 's faith ends up leading him to hell rather than heaven (Connolly …show more content…
The ambiguous language requires the reader to think critically to figure out what is actually happening. Faith is an allegory Hawthorne creates between the character and Goodman 's faith (Levy 378). Faith is significant in this story because it clarifies the relationship between Goodman versus his internal spirituality.
Faith helps tie in all the main themes of the story. Goodman never looks at anyone in the village the same again. He has a suspicion that everyone is hiding behind something, and everyone is involved with evil. The faith of Goodman Brown can also teach a reader an important lesson. This lesson is to think about consequences of temptation, or it may be too late to turn around. Goodman kept on his journey because of temptation, and it was too late to turn around in the end (Connolly 376). This is an important lesson that this story teaches.
Nathaniel Hawthorne shows off his writing skills in this text. He uses several ways to create an allegory with the word faith. Through this simple word, he helps clarify themes and teach a lesson. Why was faith such a big part of this story? Did Hawthorne 's writing about faith reflect his own personal

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