Theme of “Young Goodman Brown”
“Young Goodman Brown” was written by Nathaniel Hawthorn, one of the most talented American novelists and storytellers of the Romantic Age. He was affected deeply by Puritanism and Mysticism so that he formed a suspicious attitude towards the world, just like in “Young Goodman Brown”. This story is really short but the content of the story is meaningful. Hawthorn has an allegory technique in fiction writing and shows a strong tendency toward symbolism. He uses the profound symbolism and delicate descriptions of the characters’ minds to convey the distinguished thematic meanings. The main idea throughout Hawthorn’s works is digging out the “evil” hidden in human soul. As a result, the most prominent theme of this short story is that evil is the nature of mankind: “We see a man who began to doubt, with some reason, the goodness of his own family, which led him to doubt the goodness of all men, until he concluded that, “Evil is the nature of mankind,” words uttered by the devil, who represents the dark side of Brown’s nature” (Thomas 336). Hawthorn describes the characters and plots to represent other things and symbolically express a deeper moral meaning. His words are so exquisite that every character, setting and plot results in crisp and sharp theme. The plot of the forest journey is the most important part to confirm the theme. This is not a journey, but it is the experience of searching and exploring the evil of human nature. Brown is a young, pure, and good person. After he marries Faith, he is tempted to join a devil’s party, and promises to his wife he will be back home in the early morning. Faith tries to persuade him to stay, but he refuses. Brown looks at Faith’s pink ribbon hat before he leaves. After Brown enters the forest for a while, he is struggling and wanting back home. The reason is he does not want to hurt his wife—Faith. However, he hears Faith’s voice and sees the pink ribbon hat. He is soon at the...
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