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Symbolism in Nathaniel Hawthornes Young Goodman Brown Nathaniel Hawthornes Young Goodman Brown is a story about a man and his faith Goodman Brown ventures on a journey into the forest where his faith is tested as he attempts to resist the temptations of the devil whereupon he returns to his home and wife While in the forest Goodman Brown encounters many well-respected citizens of his community including his wife Faith engaged in a satanic meeting This discovery causes a tremendous state of confusion for Goodman Brown and makes resisting the devil a much harder task Doubting his readers ability to grasp subtle clues Hawthorne will hit them readers over the head when it fits his purposes Dillio 1 The main characters names alone are prime examples of Hawthorns blatant symbolism The names Goodman and Faith indicate that Hawthornes allegory is obviously a religious one with both Goodman and Faith soon to encounter and fight some devil A goodman is a title equivalent to Mr applied to a man ranking below a gentleman A goodman in Hawthornes day was a person who came from proper lineage This is obviously the perfect name for Goodman Brown A normal man with no significance to anyone but friends and family he is devoted to his wife Goodman also believes that he is devoted to God but as the story progresses both of these devotions will be challenged Faith is an unquestioning belief that requires no proof of evidence Hawthorne chooses this name because Goodman Browns faith is manifested in his wife Goodman Brown uses his wifes name many times as an obvious symbol of his own faith both in himself and in God He also uses her name as a shield for his soul to help resist the devils temptations My love and my Faith of all nights in the year this one I must tarry away from thee 614 With this
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