Goodman Brown

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Charles Yi
Pd. 7
11/10/12

Goodman Brown Essay

The short story, “Young Goodman Brown”, by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a story about a Puritan man, Goodman Brown, who goes on a journey where he meets Lucifer. During Goodman Brown’s journey, he is tempted by the devil by losing his faith in his wife, Faith, his family ,and his friends. Hawthorne uses the symbols of religion, Faith’s pink ribbons, and the snake staff to show the true nature of mankind.

Religion, a major part of people lives, shows Brown that even religion can falter to evil. Just before Brown leaves, his wife Faith, calls out to him saying, “’Then God bless you!’”. Brown prays to God for Faith and for his journey. When Brown confronts Goody Cloyse, saying that his father and grandfather were evil, he defends his family by saying:

‘If it be thou sayest,’ replied Goodman Brown, ‘I marvel they never spoke of these matters. Or, verily, I marvel not, seeing that the last rumor of the sort would have driven them from New England. We are people of prayer and good works to boot, abide no such wickedness. This quote states that Brown’s belief in his Puritan religion never faltered in the beginning and he believes a Christian man cannot fall to the devil. As he sees the true form of the devil, .he sees Faith’s pink ribbons. He calls her and says, “’Look up to Heaven, and resist the Wicked One’”. This shows that even in the last moment, he still calls out for God, but in the end, he falls for the devil. He realizes that if even he, a good Puritan man, can fall easily for the devil, every good man can too.

Faith’s pink ribbon shows the innocence and purity of human beings. The words “pink ribbons” is mentioned in the story five times. The story introduces Faith as, “…thrust her own pretty head into the street, letting the wind play whit the pink ribbons of her cap…”. This quote explains that since Faith still has her pink ribbons on, Goodman Brown still has faith. The second time Faith’s pink...
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