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Most criticism and reflection of Nathaniel Hawthornes Young Goodman Brown centers on a good versus evil theme Critics also debate interpretations of the main characters consciousness is Brown awake or dreaming What is certain is that he lives and dies in pain because his belief in his righteousness isolates him from his community It is also certain that Hawthornes interpretation of Browns mid-life crisis has ambiguity and leaves a reader with many different feelings about what and why certain things have happened Hawthornes use of symbolism in his allegorical tale Young Goodman Brown causes the main characters revelations about the sin within his community his family and himself Young Goodman Browns journey into the forest is best defined as a kind of general indeterminate allegory representing mans irrational drive to leave faith home and security temporarily behind for whatever reason and take a chance with onemore errand onto the wilder shores of experience Martin Brown has a curiosity that kills his naive outlook on life and changes him until his death He has a mission to go into the forest and meet the devil A mission that he begins out of curiosity and a deep need to see if the teachings of his childhood his religion and his culture have armed him sufficiently to look the devil in the face and return unscathed Hodara 1 The symbol of the forest late at night can be interpreted as the untamed regions of Browns heart where the devil roams freely as he roams in the forest The forest is the devils domain Brown finds in the dark of the night many of his daytime friends share this domain with the devil What he considers moral and good in his life he finds in the forest This torments his perception of practically everything A good man in Hawthornes day was a person of proper lineage This very lineage Hawthorne capitalizes on as he begins the
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