Young Goodman Brown

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In “Young Goodman Brown”, Nathaniel Hawthorne reveals the bitter and life-changing aspects of the concept of Original Sin by the use of progressive story-telling using the “path” as an allegory, rhetorical shift with the pink ribbon as a symbol, and the use of ambiguous words. This story takes place in Salem, Massachusetts around the time of the Salem witch trials, where nobody in the society at the time knew what to believe in. Using progressive story-telling, Hawthorne reveals slowly the fact that not all people are innocent, and good, and by the use of this progressive style, he adds a sense of mystery. In the beginning of the “path”, Goodman Brown was “young” along with his wife, Faith. Goodman Brown, at first, was innocent and believed that everyone else was also innocent. He believed that Faith was “a blessed angel on Earth,” furthering the fact that Goodman Brown thought all was innocent. He meets this figure in a dark, gloomy forest and begins his journey on the path. As he goes along the path he sees people that he thought were pious, innocent people. For example, the “pious and exemplary dame” who was Goody Cloyse, who taught Brown “his catechism in youth.” At this point, he’s starting to feel something wretched in his stomach as if something’s not right and refuses to go any further. Then, further along the path, he hears the minister and Decon Gookin going the same way he’s going. At this point, he doesn’t know what to believe anymore “doubting whether there really was a heaven above him.” Then, near the final leg of the path, he hears his wife Faith and he finally realizes that “there is no good on Earth.” Finally, he reaches the last of his journey on this path to becoming a ‘man.’ The progressive story telling shows how Goodman Brown went through a change on his view of the world from innocent, to “Original Sin.” Hawthorne uses rhetorical shift to highlight how Faith has changed from what Goodman Brown thought she was into a sinner. The color pink...
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