Perceptions of Faith in "Young Goodman Brown"
Throughout ones journey in life, our individual perceptions of faith in God, in mankind, and in ourselves, guide us along our path. In the absence of clarity of our faith, one is led to believe the norm is what proves to be popular within a society. Nathaniel Hawthorne's, "Young Goodman Brown", demonstrates to the reader, man's inherent attraction to evil, the intertwined depths of evil, and that a lack of understanding of faith; can not only destroy ones life, but also steal from the beliefs which binds us together in commonality. Even with a clear understanding of the Puritan attitude, the reader is left with the dilemma that seems to impose the idea, that faith in God alone is but a dogma in the absence of faith in and an understanding of humanity. Therefore, we resolve that it is not good enough to choose between good and evil; we must be all embracing of the doctrine of faith and forgiveness, so that we can function in a contributory way within our community. Is Young Goodman Brown's encountering with the Devil merely a test of his own faith? Or perhaps, is he simply intrigued by the mystique of evil forces that lie outside the realm of what he considers acceptable behavior in his Puritan times? "With this excellent resolve for the future, Goodman Brown felt himself justified in making more haste on his present evil purpose" (634). Through his writing Nathaniel Hawthorne is able to develop a distinct set of doctrine that existed within the mind of Goodman Brown. Thus, the reader can assume that one trait of Puritan Society is a lack of tolerance for forgiveness. It is no wonder that Puritanism is known for a somber outlook on life, and a tendency to be immovable. A Puritan Society might find it difficult to see perfection in it's own members, especially if they do not recognize their own tendency toward hypocrisy. Young Goodman Brown's perception of his faith abandons him because he lacks a clear understanding...
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