Losing Faith: The Unforeseen Corruption In Young Goodman Brown

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Losing Faith: The Unforeseen Corruption
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” is the classic horror tale of a young man, Brown, who takes a surreptitious journey into a forest where he is met by a strange man whose intentions are just as mysterious and the young man’s journey. Simple as this short story may seem to some, there is a rather blatant and complex allegory confronting the fundaments and moral standings of religion. While Brown is to stand as representative to those who struggle with and even succumb to the fight to keep one’s faith in a world riddled with sin and corruption upon inevitable revelation, the eerie journey depicts the core of failed religion – the religious hypocrisy, the myth of righteousness amongst religious
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Before Brown departs from his wife, he questions her faith in him, asking, “dost thou doubt me already, and we but three months married?” (79). While Hawthorne has made young Goodman Brown’s age range relatively apparent, it may be determined that the length of Brown’s marriage to Faith parallels his time committed to his religious faith – that time being quite brief. Leaving Faith behind as he sets off on his excursion, he distances himself from his personal faith. As he treks along, he finds himself further and further from Faith, fretting for her heart and wanting desperately to return to her though he continues onward through the forest – tempted along by his strange companion. Mentions of Faith lesson once Brown wanders deeper into the forest, only a few times taking a moment to remember his poor Faith in the midst of the stranger’s vexing …show more content…
In the story, thought Brown seems unaware, he is essentially the devil himself. None other than the devil could have lived long enough to have “helped [Brown’s] grandfather... when he lashed the Quaker woman so smartly through the streets of Salem (1500s); and … brought [Brown’s] father a pitch-pine knot, kindled at [his] own hearth, to set fire to an Indian village, in King Philip 's war (1600s)”, and still appear to Brown a 50 year old man (81). Not to mention, the description given to the man’s staff when it appeared to Brown in ambiguous lighting as “one of the rods which its owner had formerly lent to the Egyptian magi” is an allusion to the miracles of Moses in the Bible’s chapter of Exodus (82). These small details leave readers safe to assume this man is indeed the devil, and that he has come to lure Brown far from his beloved

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