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Young Goodman Brown. Theme of your choice of good and evil - Research Paper Example

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Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” is a short story set in the 17th century Puritan New England when a lot of emphasis was on innocence and purity in the face of the Puritan beliefs that the society of Mankind was very condemned to a sinful, irredeemable state. …
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Young Goodman Brown. Theme of your choice of good and evil
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Download file to see previous pages The puritan beliefs that man was inherently sinful tend to be biased against society in favor of their own self-righteousness out of grace. Through the story of Goodman, Hawthorne criticizes the hypocrisy of the Puritan liturgy by creatively designing Goodman’s journey to self-discovery through personal reevaluation that ultimately ends in the loss of his own faith. Goodman as the protagonist of the story is a universal character, typical of every other man in the universe (Hawthorne 561). This story is strikingly a dark romance story in the period of American Romanticism because it depicts sad and dark events; moreover, in this story, Hawthorne deals with the theme of Good and Evil as two opposing forces in society. The basic argument is that man is constantly faced with the internal conflict about his personal belief, and this is because of the struggle between the forces of good and the forces of evil. Hawthorne affirmatively states that the forces of evil are so strong that one is more likely to stray from the path of righteousness to the path of evil and darkness. Man being inherently sinful, he has to defeat evil by remaining steadfast in his faith, but this is not often easy as we see through Goodman’s woes that lead to him losing his faith; he encounters the devil who is in his own resemblance (Hawthorne 554). The major characters of this story have been given names that suggest a deeper meaning than the surface one, in a deliberate fashion that supports the theme of Good and evil. Goodman for instance points out that the said character is a good man, pure in actions and free from evil. As such, Goodman appeals to the reader as a sympathetic character who has fallen victim of circumstances; Faith on the other hand metaphorically represents his religious beliefs, through which he hopes to attain eternal life. He believes in her earthly purity and innocence and later in the story, it emerges that she also represents his personal faith. It is faith that keeps Goodman from indulging in evil; this is captured aptly through Goodman’s encounter with the devil in the forest where he excuses his lateness by the delay caused by his wife Faith. This highlights his internal conflict that is informed by man's general predisposition to evil, and his religious beliefs that prohibit him from freely doing evil. Once Goodman learns that his wife is lost, his personal faith is lost too, and Goodman is totally lost from the righteous path. Apart from the Characters, the setting of the story has been used to highlight the theme of Good and evil in a manner that evokes greater significance in the plot of the story; thus, Hawthorne’s choice of a dense forest setting was purposeful and not merely coincidental. Forests have largely been associated with darkness and dangerous malevolence that could befall any unsuspecting person. Goodman alludes to this myth when he gets a notion that there could be evil behind every tree in the forest waiting to attack an innocent individual. In this regard, the forest setting symbolizes evil in its pure form with its deep secrets and darkness that portents mystery. By agreeing to walk in the forest, Goodman starts being compromised in his whole being as he begins to doubt his beliefs in the knowledge he already had about his forbiddance from the forest area. Goodman’s gradual walk deeper into the forest metaphorically represents his gradual straying from good to evil. Deeper into the forest, there is dense darkness that totally blinds Goodman’s eyesight thus highlighting the fact that his morality is getting darker and darker by the moment as he continues to walk in the fo ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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