Nathaniel Hawthorn: Young Goodman Brown Faith Essay

1216 words - 5 pages


Losing Faith

Nathaniel Hawthorne's, "Young Goodman Brown" is a short story that takes place at sunset in Salem where Goodman Brown is about to go on a journey into the forest. As he is saying goodbye to his wife, Faith, while she begs him not to go and to just stay with her. Before Goodman Brown's journey, Hawthorne indicates that there is more to faith than just the name when he says, "He looked back and saw the head of Faith still peeping after him with a melancholy air, in spite of her pink ribbons" (100). As the story progresses, we see that Faith is the center theme of Hawthorne's story; it symbolizes man's fundamental and instinctive attraction to evil and how understanding one's faith can destroy a man.

Goodman Brown's story takes place at night in Salem in the nineteenth century, where there is a high population of Puritans. He is headed to the forest to fufill an, "evil purpose" (Hawthorne 101). At first, landscape is described as, "a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest" (101). Once Goodman Brown meets with a mysterious man, who tempts him to come deeper into the forest with him, the landscape becomes, "lonely as could be" (101). In the nineteenth century, the forest viewed as a place of evil, which explains Hawthorne's description of the, "innumerable trunks and the thick boughs overhead" (101). The darkness and gloominess portrays how the Puritans viewed the forest as a place where evil acts occurred. A forest's tree trunks and their leaves block its inhabitants from the outside world altogether; the trees are hiding the sinful acts. Young Goodman Brown realizes that the further he goes into the forest by following this man, who resembles the devil, the farther away from Faith he will be. The dark imagery that Hawthorne is using to describe the forest helps express the surreal aspect of faith itself and how Goodman Brown is trying to understand it.

Goodman Brown's views on Faith and human nature are altered after his experience in the forest; the devil describing evil as "the nature of mankind" (110). When Goodman Brown first encounters the mysterious traveler, he is hesitant to continue into the forest saying that, "Not another step will I budge on this errand…Why should I quit my dear Faith" (105); however, after the man says that he was friends with Brown's family, Goodman Brown says that, "We are people of prayer…and abide no such wickedness" (102). The man shares with Goodman Brown that other towns-people are attending this gathering in the forest, such as Deacon Gookin, saying that, "A majority of Great and General Court are firm supporters of my interest…But these are state secrets" (102). Goodman Brown finds his Faith slowly slipping away as he finds out that people he believed to be faithful Puritans were participating in evil...

Find Another Essay On Nathaniel Hawthorn: Young Goodman Brown-Faith

Young Goodman Brown - Understanding Faith

748 words - 3 pages an individual. In the story "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the possible corruption of religious institutions is explored by the author. The purposes of religion, its misinterpretation by people, and the downfall of individuals due to this misinterpretation can be seen throughout the story.Everyone must have asked themselves the question of the meaning of life. There is no definitive answer to this question which every individual

Nathaniel Hawthorne -"Young Goodman Brown". Essay

1069 words - 4 pages Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on the forth of July 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts, a descendant of Puritan immigrants; one ancestor had been a judge in the Salem witchcraft trials. Maybe this is where he got some of his inspiration for the story 'Young Goodman Brown' The story of Young Goodman Brown is not just written to amuse people. It is a story told with two levels of meaning: a literal and a symbolic one. The symbolic meaning reflects moral

Nathaniel Hawthrone's "Young Goodman Brown".

545 words - 2 pages Character Analysis In Young Goodman Brown, there are many characters who had important roles in developing the story. The most important character is "Young Goodman Brown", whose name is the title of the story. This character is not only very interesting but also very confusing. When we first met him, he was a young man who seemed to be optimistic and good nature, but, at the end of the story, it is contrary. His changes were developed by other

Where Not To Base Your Faith: Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

1821 words - 7 pages especially important in the story Young Goodman Brown. The definition of faith according to is, “Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.” In order for one to closely examine the story “Young Goodman Brown” it is important first to have some basic knowledge of the author, Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hawthorne was a writer that lived in Salem, Massachusetts in the early

Allegorical Analysis of Faith in Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown"

806 words - 3 pages In "Young Goodman Brown" Nathaniel Hawthorne uses symbolism to effectively create the desired allegorical context. Having been published in 1835, the lasting effect of 17th century Puritanism played a significant role in the short story as it did in The Scarlet Letter and other works by Hawthorne as well (Shoemaker). Among the most commendable aspects of Hawthorne's writing is his obscure style that allows the reader to make his own

Losing Faith in Young Goodman Brown

794 words - 3 pages Losing Faith in Young Goodman Brown In “Young Goodman Brown,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Goodman Brown is tempted by the evil that surrounds him and he must keep his faith in order to resist it. The use of the events, characters, and symbols throughout the story show that evil is present in the people of the town in which Goodman Brown lives and how Goodman Brown’s faith in them is lost. Humanity is basically flawed and people struggle with

Faith in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

1113 words - 4 pages Missing Works Cited Nathaniel Hawthorne’s allegorical story “Young Goodman Brown” is set in Salem, Massachusetts during the late sixteen hundreds in a time of religious hysteria and only a few generations after the infamous witch trials. Although "Young Goodman Brown" is a fictional tale, it is based on the cynical environment of Salem during this time period. The short story is filled with many literary elements, leading you to question what

Symbolism in Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

685 words - 3 pages Symbolism in Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" is full of symbolism throughout the story. Perhaps the most interesting examples of symbolism include the title character, Young Goodman Brown, as well as his wife, Faith, and the woods that Young Goodman Brown enters on his journey. Included are many allusions to Christianity and also to evil and sin. These references are expressed mainly

Blind Faith in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

939 words - 4 pages Young Goodman Brown:  Blind Faith Is it possible for a man to be SO hypnotized by faith that he is incapable of apprehending the truth that surrounds him? Yes. The principle of faith centers heavily around the confident belief of an idea set by a person or community. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown," the faith of an individual conflicts with the faith of the community. The story takes place during the period where all devoted

Young Goodman Brown, by Nathaniel Hawthorne

1010 words - 4 pages portrayed in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “Young Goodman Brown”. The forest is only a small part of the setting, as this also takes place in a village in Salem Massachusetts and surrounding area the year 1692. The mood is heavy with superstition, confusion, doubt, betrayal, and shallowness. Goodman Brown sets the exposition as he parts with his sweet, pink-capped wife, Faith, to leave at dusk for the ominous meeting in the forest with the

Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne

1616 words - 6 pages A Psychological Breakdown: A Radically Changed Personality “Young Goodman Brown” is a short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne that describes a night of Goodman Brown in the forest where he walks with the devil and discovers the truth about evil lurking in the human heart. The events of Hawthorne’s story do not have any supernatural cause. The events are the results of human illusion encountered by people having schizophrenic or bipolar hallucinatory

Similar Essays

"Young Goodman Brown" By Nathaniel Hawthorn.

1280 words - 5 pages Goodman's Loss of FaithNathaniel Hawthorn's short story, "Young Goodman Brown" is allegorical; the characters and objects in the story represent abstract ideas. The evil in Brown's world is frequently represented by some object, person, or event in the short story. The symbols of evil guide the story along and show the reader how Brown loses his faith. Hawthorn uses symbolism to illustrate the story of a young man who reluctantly departs from

"Young Goodman Brown" By Nathaniel Hawthorn.

531 words - 2 pages GoodmanBrown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, I determined that through diversesymbolism, Hawthorne writes of a man who in his coming of age learnsthat there is a darkness in everyone and upon this coming of knowledge,he is forever changed.From the start, Hawthorne describes Goodman Brown as a good Puritan whois devoted to his wife ^ÑFaith,' whose name he uses like a shield for hissoul. At the beginning of his walk through the woods, Brown runs intothe

Losing Faith Young Goodman Brown Essay

1012 words - 4 pages Losing Faith Young Goodman Brown Throughout the short story "Young Goodman Brown," written by Nathaniel Hawthorne the main character is searching for Faith in what appears to be an increasingly corrupt world. Faith takes on a double meaning in this story, for Faith is used both as the name of Young Goodman Brown's pretty young wife and the spiritual devotion of Young Goodman Brown to the Puritan Faith. The dual usage of Faith in this short

Faith In Young Goodman Brown Essay

1097 words - 4 pages Faith in Young Goodman Brown In Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown," Hawthorne introduces Goodman Brown, who doubts himself and reiterates his false confidence to himself repeatedly. His struggle between the evil temptations, the devil, and the proper church abiding life, is a struggle he does not think he can handle. This story is about a man who challenges his faith in himself and in the community in which he resides. Goodman