Faith In Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

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“Young Goodman Brown” is the story of a young man’s adventure through the forest, which, when examined context, is actually a disturbing criticism of Puritan morality. In the short story “Young Goodman Brown”, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses symbolism with the name of Goodman Brown’s wife Faith to examine the necessity of faith in the lives of religious men and the importance of faith in maintaining one’s trust of God’s goodness. Hawthorne’s use of name symbolism in “Young Goodman Brown” reveals that the most important quality of religious piety is complete faith in one’s god. Goodman Brown and Faith are symbols which establish the representation of every man’s faith. The relationship between Goodman Brown and Faith, a symbol in the…show more content…
Upon walking deeper into the forest, Goodman Brown sees people that he knew previously as respected and spiritual figures. His sighting of Goody Cloyse, who he describes as “a very pious and exemplary dame who had taught him his catechism in youth”, is the first case among many others that cause his faith to weaken. The recognition of Goody Cloyse turning evil made Goodman Brown question the value of his faith towards religion, as Goody was both a teacher and advisor for his entrance into Christian religion – the definition of catechism. Seeing a pious figure in his religion turn to evil makes Brown skeptical of all people who appear to be good on the outside, but could all potentially be sinners in hiding. Even though Goodman Brown’s trust in God is weakened by the previous sights, it never fully collapses unless he sees Faith also converting to sin, as he says: “With Heaven above, and Faith below, I will yet stand firm against the devil!” For Goodman Brown, Faith is the ultimate threshold for resisting the temptations of evil; his wife Faith symbolizes his own religious faith, so Goodman Brown will never sin unless his faith is corrupted. However, when Goodman Brown finds his wife in the forest, he realizes that everything he has believed in, even the one thing he has trusted the most, faith, has been corrupted, and gives in to evil: “My Faith is
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