Symbolism In Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

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J. R. R. Tolkien once said, "Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens". As human beings, we are all vulnerable to temptation; only those who conquer their fears and desires can strengthen their moral standing. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown", the symbolism in the name "Young Goodman Brown" reflects how an individual's can fall victim to temptation due to inexperience and lack of connection with faith, eventuating into an altered perception of the world. The symbolic meaning within the name "Young Goodman Brown" implies the sense of inexperience, the superficial characteristics, the relatable comparison with society, and wistfulness. In the beginning of the story, Goodman Brown's developing bond with his Faith is described as "but three months…show more content…
This connects to the central message as it reveals Goodman Brown's naivety with his religion; temptation will more likely be able to persuade Goodman Brown to question his beliefs. Goodman Brown's vulnerability to temptation is also revealed as he meets up with the devil in the forest; Goodman Brown tells the devil that "Faith kept [him] back awhile"(p.326). Although Goodman Brown hesitates to leave his Faith behind, he is not yet fully immersed into his religion, making him susceptible to the devil's temptation; his weak relationship with his Faith is easily manipulated by the devil. By analyzing the title "Goodman", it is seen that Goodman Brown has an outer perception of a gentleman, respectful to his Faith and his church seniors. Although he is presented as a kind-hearted man to his Faith, he "[tarries] away from [her]", but still reminds her to "Say [her] prayers"(p.325). His curiosity leads him away from his devotion, yet he still holds onto certain aspects, portraying how he is weak to temptation, but remains partially loyal to his Faith. This
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