Report

1596 words - 7 pages

I believe that Hawthorne filled the story of Young Goodman Brown with allusions to religion because he himself was struggling with his beliefs. Writing about struggles make it appear as if it is another individual suffering, while through it all the writer is sorting out issues dear to him. He was a young man with a wife called “Faith” (1113). I know that Hebrews 11:6 states “but without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (KJV). Faith is a very important part of religious beliefs and people in general. We rarely do anything in our lives without a level of faith. Just sitting on a chair takes faith, but we don’t think of it that way. Faith is also a strength that keeps us from doing things that harm others. The Puritan “catechism” (1115) is mentioned several times and indicated that Young Goodman Brown has a firm understanding of what the Bible teaches. This catechism is a long list of questions and answers with supporting scriptures that help young believer understand and follow the doctrine of the Bible and helps them become grounded in their faith. If an individual is not grounded in their faith, the will become wayward and wonder what they really believe. Prayer is another thing I find mentioned throughout the story. Initially Brown tells his wife to “say thy prayers” (1113), then later in the night Goodman Brown “lifted his hands to pray” (1118). Additionally, he tells the devil that his family is “a people of prayer, and good works” (1115). Other mentions of prayer are important in their setting where “no…solitary Christian prayed…[in] the heathen wilderness” (1118) or “Old Deacon Gookin was at…prayer” (1121) and Brown wondered what god he prayed to. Prayer is the only way of communication between God and man and is a sure way to grow closer in faith. Even after Brown’s life changing voyage, his “family [still] knelt down at prayer” ( 1122) on a regular basis. Another religious message I see in the story relates to hymns. During the most tumultuous times, Young Goodman Brown heard a “hymn…he knew the tune…it was familiar” (1119), then “another verse of the hymn arose” (1120) and “the congregation were singing a holy psalm” (1122). Each of these times hymns were sung the Young Goodman became irritated and heart hardened to his surroundings. Hymns play an integrated role in a Christian’s faith. When we learn them and sing them frequently they become a source of pleasure and strength. Hymns also call for decisions and internal investigation of the heart. It is very difficult to really sing a hymn without true feeling when it is sung in reverence. Hymns help maintain strength in times of trouble and provide the endurance faith needs to remain strong. Lastly, I see the fires of hell represented by the vision Brown experienced when he stood frightfully before the “red light…[a] lurid blaze against the sky”...

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