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Word Count: 1,694
Faith or Destiny Nathaniel Hawthorne made his mark as a major American writer in 1850 with the publication of The Scarlet Letter His work appeals to different levels of readers because he creates complex and elaborate settings Through conflicts within his characters he analyzes the moral and psychological issues often consumed by their own passions As he was growing up he could not escape the influence of Puritan religion This influence along with the setting of his hometown in Salem Massachusetts are common topics in his work in Young Goodman Brown Nathaniel Hawthorne considers the question of good and evil suggesting that true evil is judging and condemning others for sin without looking at ones own sinfulness He examines the idea that sin is part of being human and there is no escape from it Of the many symbols he uses in this story each has a profound meaning They represent good and evil in the constant struggle of a young innocent man whose faith is being tested As the story begins Young Goodman Brown bids farewell to his young wife Faith as she was aptly named 211 When she thrust her own pretty head into the street letting the wind play with the pink ribbons of her cap we associate the purity of Faith and the pink ribbons as a sign of the innocence and goodness of the town he is leaving behind 211 As he continues on his present evil purpose he sets off at sunset to enter the forest 212 A place darkened by all the gloomiest trees unknown territory and a place where there may be a devilish Indian behind every tree with this we know the forest represents evil and sinfulness 212 His decision to enter the forest and leave his Faith behind is the first decision of many between good and evil that he must make After entering the forest he meets a traveler
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