Young Goodman Brown Faith

Submitted By hmpmtt
Words: 746
Pages: 3

Matthew Hemphill
Mr. Roso
English III
4 December 2012
Nathaniel Hawthorne was a puritan author whose family had been involved in the Salem witch trials and the sentencing of 25 young women to death. His writings often dealt with the themes of free will and private faith as opposed to public displays of purity. He believed that people put on a show of being good and holy when they were really corrupt inside. He often portrayed the devil as a real person which was an example of his religious beliefs. He was a transcendentalist. He believed that God was present in nature and used nature to describe God. Young Goodman Brown going into the woods is an example of his being led into evil. He starts off innocent with a temptation to do evil. He starts off on a journey thinking he can always turn back and return to innocence. In the end he never recovers his original faith and innocence. Young Goodman Browns attitude toward his young wife Faith and the members of his village turns from blissful ignorance to increasing doubtfulness and finally frenzied shock. Young Goodman brown is naïve in his belief that he can go into the woods and meet the devil to do evil and return to innocence and goodness in the morning. By crossing over the threshold of his house he is consciously stepping out into evil. “Say thy prayers, dear Faith,” he deceitfully calls out. He tells his wife Faith to say her prayers as though she could make up for any evil he might do. He does not know that he has already gone too far without even leaving his home. He was thinking that he could always return to his wife’s goodness and this would save him. He believed his own secret actions would not matter as long as Faith was good. As he is travelling he begins to want to turn back. He begins to feel ashamed about what others will think. He starts to see that people he had always admired as righteous have actually followed the same dark path. One by one he loses his respect for the elders and leaders of his community. He realizes that the public person is all a show; these people are putting on an act. All the while he keeps saying that as long as his wife is truly good there is still hope for his own turning away from evil. The first person he meets is the devil in the bodily shape of Goodman’s own father. He then comes upon an old woman who taught him his faith and finds out she is a witch. This causes him to have uncertainty about who is truly good. “We are a people of prayer, and good works to boot, and abide no such wickedness,” says Goodman without conviction. His statement is about what he grew up seeing in public but his attitude is…