Symbolism Of Faith In Young Goodman Brown

1376 words, 6 pages

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Symbolism is an author’s method of associating the representation of a person, event, or thing with a much broader idea or range of ideas without losing the symbols literal meaning. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, Young Goodman Brown, Hawthorne uses people and objects to allegorically reveal an abstract truth to his audience. However, the largest symbolic role that Hawthorne cast in this particular story was Faith, Goodman Brown’s wife. In his story, Hawthorne illustrates a Puritan man, Goodman Brown, going on a journey to spiritual experience. Before setting on his journey, Goodman Brown had to leave his wife, Faith, behind. Little did he know his wife was not the only thing that Goodman Brown had to leave... View More »

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Goodman Brown’s response was “Faith kept me back a while.” Was it his wife that kept him back or was it his spiritual faith? In a literal sense his wife held him back with argument; however, in a deeper sense it could be understood that Goodman Brown was battling his own spiritual faith to break free and set on this journey.
In the beginning of his journey, it is apparent that Goodman Brown is very naïve to the trial of his spiritual faith and to the temptations that his companion is pushing upon him. His companion is trying to convince Goodman Brown that he was a good friend of his father and grandfather. With this and the apparition of Goody Cloyse in the forest, the devil is trying to convince Goodman Brown that he should jump on the bandwagon along with everyone else. However, Goodman Brown in his naivety seems to be certain of where he stands in his Godly faith. “What if a wretched old woman do choose to go to the devil when I thought she was going to heaven: is that any reason why I should quit my dear Faith and go after her?” Here Goodman Brown is referring to his spiritual faith. He contemplates the lack of reason for quitting his beloved spiritual faith just because other people have converted; he is confident in his faith to God. This confidence that Goodman Brown exerts naïvely blinds him to the realization that his faithfulness to God is on trial. In addition, Goodman Brown is also doubtful of who his companion really is, the devil. He does not realize what his companion is saying and showing him are mere tricks to get him to convert.
However, in the ...

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