What Is The Theme Of Faith In Young Goodman Brown

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Nathaniel Hawthorne’s allegorical short story, “Young Goodman Brown,” delves deeply into the time where faith was the center of most people’s lives. Throughout the story, Goodman Brown faces many confusing occurrences involving his decisions in what to do with his “faith.” Faith is an interesting symbol in this story because the author interprets “faith” in many ways. Goodman Brown’s wife, Faith is a symbol for Goodman Brown’s faith in God. In this allegorical story, Hawthorne creates an interesting take on how “faith” as a symbol can represent that everyone will eventually succumb to sinful tendencies and stray away from the truths of the soul. Before Young Goodman Brown departs from his home, he reassures his wife, Faith, he will return …show more content…
Goodman Brown faces many townspeople in the forest, both religious figures and governmental leaders, that he has known throughout his lifetime. Hawthorne conveys that all people are sinners and can succumb to temptation no matter what place they hold in society. Goodman Brown relied too much on the townspeople to guide his faith, so when he realized that the people he looked up to were working with the devil, he had lost all hope. Young Goodman Brown first encounters Goody Cloyse, “a very pious and exemplary dame, who had taught him his catechism in youth, and was still his moral and spiritual adviser” (Hawthorne). Goodman is bewildered to see the woman who taught him his faith as a youth in the dark, isolated forest. Seeing Goody Cloyse in the forest with the devil gives insight to Goodman Brown that the foundation of his faith is weak because she taught him his faith. After meeting with Goody Cloyse, Goodman Brown hears the voices of the town ministers especially Deacon Gookin. Goodman shows signs of weakness in his faith when he “caught hold of a tree, for support, being ready to sink down on the ground, faint and overburthened with the heavy sickness of his heart” (Hawthorne). He was so astounded at the fact that the Deacon of his town was in the forest to worship the devil and participate in a satanic worship. At the black …show more content…
When Goodman Brown “awakens” from his dream and returns home to Salem, he can only see the townspeople as sinners. He is not willing to accept their faults which in turn causes him to be “a stern, a sad, a darkly meditative, a distrustful, if not a desperate man” (Hawthorne). Goodman Brown’s faith is weakened when he experiences the devil and the townspeople in the forest. Hawthorne creates an atmosphere in this allegorical story that is heartless to convey that everyone sins and can give into temptations. But, it is how one handles the struggles and tests of believing in God that can either lead to strengthening or weakening one’s

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