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Alienation and Moral Dilemma as Portrayed by Nathaniel Hawthorne By Silvana Macri-Sheehan Nathaniel Hawthorn was born in Salem Massachusetts in 1804 during Puritan times He created many stories that reflect his life experiences growing up as a Puritan He writes stories that end with a moral that was learned through the struggles of the characters These characters are almost always faced with a dilemma where they must choose what is right versus what is wrong Another common theme in his writing is alienation I will explore these concepts through the analytical analysis of the stories Young Goodman Brown The Ministers Black Veil and The Birth Mark These stories are all about a life altering decision one must face and the consequences of that decision The story Young Goodman Brown is about a man named Goodman Brown who must leave his wife Faith to go on a fateful journey a journey whose reason is left to speculation He must go into the local forest refuse the temptations of the devil and return to the village before sunrise He embarks on this journey and returns a changed man for the evils he encountered made him lose his faith in the community around him The decision or struggle that Brown is faced with in the story is between the evil temptations that lurk in the forest and the proper church abiding life He knows what he must do upon entering the forest and he dreads the deed There are many obvious cues in Young Goodman Brown The first example is the name Goodman Brown His name is symbolic of the good man he is and of the faith he bestows Another example is his wife named Faith and Faith as the wife was aptly named Nathaniel Hawthorne Young Goodman Brown She is a representation of his own religious faith and reflects their innocence and purity sin the consummation between married couples and the complications
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