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Theme Of Innocence In Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

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Theme Of Innocence In Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown
In the village of Salem there is man, Goodman Brown, who is a Christian. He meets a man in the woods, who eerily seems to be expecting Goodman. When the two encounter a woman in the woods, the man is identified by her to be the Devil himself, and her a witch. He also hears the minister and deacon of his church going to the Devil’s ceremony, along with the witch. Goodman thinks that while everyone else is turning to the Devil, he must stay true to God. As the story progresses more, Goodman hears his wife Faith’s voice at the ceremony, which pushes him over the edge and he uses the Devil’s staff to go to the ceremony. Throughout this story, Hawthorne wraps pieces of Romanticism into the plot. There are elements of nature, solitude, and innocence. They help the overall theme of the story emerge because they build up the setting and path for Goodman’s loss of his innocence.
Innocence is a big element within this story. Hawthorne wrote on page one, “... letting the wind play with the pink ribbons of her cap…” and, “...’Then God bless you!’ said Faith, with the pink ribbons…” Faith’s pink ribbons are a symbol
…show more content…
As Goodman was walking into the woods, Hawthorne wrote, “It was all as lonely as could be; and there is this peculiarity in such a solitude, that the traveller knows not who may be concealed by the innumerable trunks and the thick boughs overhead; so that, with lonely footsteps, he may yet be passing through an unseen multitude.” This passage sets the stage for a creepy feeling of seclusion and suspense. Without the isolation within this story, Goodman would not be witnessing everyone passing by without them knowing, rather, he would be engaged with them. This would cause him to be influenced by the other characters within the story, and we would no longer be able to see Goodman inevitably succumb to the temptation of the Devil by himself (the loss of his innocence), which is the overall theme of the

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