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Hawthornes Fight vs Good and Evil My first reading of Nathaniel Hawthornes Young Goodman Brown gave the impression that he was trying to portray a central characters loss of faith and spiritual tragedy Rereading however reveals a more complex set of ideas There were revelations that neither fully condemn nor condone the constructed dicing of good and evil that he utilizes over the course of Goodman Browns journey Hawthorne had much more in mind than a mere outline of good and evil His primary struggle in Young Goodman Brown appears to be less with faith vs the faithless but with the points in between these circumstances The story shows more about the journey through between two rigidly defined circumstances than about good and evil Hawthorne describes good and evil through heavy-handed metaphors and symbols Symbolism such as his wifes name Faith and the satanic communion he finds himself in the forest he then describes Goodman Browns inability to adapt his self-image to the hypocrisy he finds in himself At the same time that sin is described as a seething pervasive hypocrisy it is also seen as an ordinary fact of living Hawthorne forfeits simplicity of a message in order to concentrate more fully on the journey itself Hawthornes sense of irony and sarcasm is well illustrated in an episode like Goodman Browns loss of his wife Faith Brown experiences several instances in the forest where he wants to stop yet he always continues because he still has Faith When a pink ribbon flutters down to him however he goes half-mad and continues on to the communion and then believing himself Faithless Hawthornes use of more easily interpreted incidents and symbols like these only reinforce the idea that this is a story about much more than easy clear divisions of human belief and behavior Hawthorne knowingly used symbols that are slightly amusing in their simplicity because he is commenting again on
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