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A "good" Man Is Hard to Find

Essay by   •  September 26, 2010  •  Essay  •  784 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,596 Views

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A "Good" Man Is Hard To Find

By: Veronica Roland

E-mail: TwinVee2000@collegeclub.com

A "Goodman" Is Hard To Find I had never really analyzed any work of literature before this class. I read books and stories for fun but never to analyze them. I now understand that in any piece of literature there is always a background or hidden agenda that the author wants the reader to get from the reading. In this paper I am going to analyze Nathaniel's Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" to find the meaning. In "Young Goodman Brown" the protagonist experiences redemption, and through this redemption comes to an uncertain truth about himself and his life. This uncertain truth lies within his "faith" in himself, his community, and his wife. Young Goodman Brown is initially characterized in the story as a good Puritan who is devoted to his wife, the community, and the Christian way of life. His wife, Faith, symbolizes his faith in himself, the community, and "Faith" herself. Goodman Brown is struggling with temptation, the devil, and the ways of the Christian faith. He doesn't feel that he can face this struggle. He has a low level of confidence in himself, as did the author, Hawthorne himself. Hawthorne wrote this story during a time when he himself was growing up doubting the Puritan faith. This story takes place at least a generation after the Salem Witch Trials. Both Brown and Hawthorne exhibit doubt in themselves as well as their Roland 2 ancestors. Goodman Brown is also struggling with his past. He must take a journey into the forest, which represents temptation and evil, but can also represent good. Salem can be described as a good place as well as an evil place. Several events take place during Brown's journey. On his way into the forest, Brown meets his "fellow traveler", who is easily recognized as the devil. The devil tries to get Brown to crossover from the Christian way of life to sin by offering his serpentine staff. He makes several advances, but Brown continually refuses. The devil tells Brown that his family has had dealings with him in the past (269). This makes Brown even more aware of his faith. He wants to remain a good man no matter what his ancestors were accused of, which was witchcraft and deviltry. Going on about his trip, Brown passes many of his mentors including Goody Cloyse and Deacon Gookin. He also passes his wife, "Faith". When he realizes that they have all given in to the temptations of the devil, especially "Faith", the Christian beliefs he is trying so hard to hold on to are shaken from him. He screams out, "My Faith is gone! There is no good on earth"

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