After reading Nathaniel Hawthorne’s story ‘Young Goodman Brown,’ what impressed me the most was that after the main character who named Brown participating a party organized by an old man, and then he became suspicious of everything and gradually lost his faith and confused about it. Each person may have a different understanding of faith. As far as I am concerned, faith is the yearning of human beings and the pursuit of lofty value goals, which is related to one’s spiritual realm.
Different beliefs reflect different views of the world, values and life, and different ways of observation.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, an American psychoanalytic novelist, is considered the greatest American romantic novelist of the 19th century. Deeply influenced by the primitive concept of sin, he advocated that people should clean their SINS and purify their behaviors.He believed that the source of all social problems, contradictions between people and all kinds of crimes were not in society material life, but caused by the world’s inherent ‘evil’.
To solve all these problems, it is necessary to figure the problem from inside. All of his novels reflect in the main trend of his thinking – the constant search for the depths of the human soul and the deep sadness that results from it.
This article uses a profound symbolism to imply at the subject and details the image and analysis of the characters. A young man went to a party hold by a old stranger. On his way to the party, he found that many people he knew, even his wife, had been to the party.
After he knew those, his faith was ruined, and he became unhappy all day long. Furthermore, he remained depressed until his death.The author adds depth meaning to the story by describing the characters and scenery. Also the names of the protagonist and his wife have profound meaning.
“Through Goodman Brown’s walk with the Devil, he demonstrates the struggle that is put on the ego from reconciling between the superego, his faith, and the id, his sin, leading to his destruction.” (Natasha, portfoilo.snc.edu) According to Leland Ryken (Discuss Hawthorne’s classic story). Faith, the name of the protagonist’s wife, symbolizes his original faith. He said goodbye to his wife, which implies he will give up his faith. After he met the old man, he began to doubt the kindness of human beings , and gradually lost trust. When he agreed to go to the party implied that his faith is not strong and easily influenced by others. Even he felt guilty and considered go back, he still walked on the wrong path. Once in contract with devil, it is not so easy to leave. He could only move forward involuntarily, further and further away from his faith.
“I am going to analyze the decline of Goodman Brown and his loss of faith by examining his ego.” (Greg, portfoilo.snc.edu) The depth of the forest is the main scene of this story. In my opinion, the depth of the forest is a symbol of darkness engulfing light, also is a place full of fear. This story looks like a surreal fantasy story, but it actually shows the wickedness of human beings and the evil of the world. Brown represents a lot young people in the world, who had faith in beginning, but gradually lost their way, and living in a world which full of sin, with a skeptical attitude.
The names Brown and Faith are repeated throughout the story. As we know, young is an adjective, includes appearance or behavior with youth characteristics, energetic, vigorous and other meanings. From this word we can know that the main character is young and full of vitality. But its symbolic meaning may refer to his immaturity and easy to be seduced. The main character named Goodman, which can be interpreted as a good person, shows that he is a kind person, also Brown is a ordinary surname, implying that this story took place among the general public, and making the story universal. At the same time, Brown is a kind of dull color, suggests that the young man felt dark and depressing.
The color and mood represented by Brown shows the protagonist’s inner image after attending the party. Furthermore, brown is a color that mix by black, white, and red. It seems to symbolize the purity and kindness of the protagonist’s heart mixed with black shadows after seeing a lot evils in human nature. White represent good and black represent bad. Thus, Nathaniel Hawthorne provides us with a hint from the name: the original simple and kind, energetic young people after attending the party realized that evil is nature of human, and his heart fight against between good and bad, and the brown color represents the result of his internal struggle. Brown’s forest journey is like walking into the depths of the human soul. What he saw could be regarded as a glimpse of the darkness into the depths of his soul.
The temptation Brown has suffered is as grate as us which will encounter in the trip of life. He glimpsed the darkness deep in his heart, but he did not know how to face the evil, and turned from a good man into a lost man who has lost his faith. Brown has a kind heart, and has not become a real villain, but he is also deceived by the devil, considering that everyone are bad, except himself. “By examining Goodman Brown’s superego one can begin to fully understand why he so easily lost his faith and why he took on a negative perspective in life.” (Greg, portfoilo.snc.edu) “The faith, his Faith, is the last thing that he doubts, after seeing the reality behind the curtains and unraveling the evil side of his society.” (Gulcan, Academia.edu)
According to Jasmine Chen & Christine Mckeever (gradesaver.com). Faith is to be loyal to someone or to a certain religious belief. In this story, the word ‘faith’ is the key word for readers to understand and appreciate this story. Nathaniel Hawthorne give “Faith” as the protagonist’s wife’s has profound meaning. On the one hand, the name gives the reader’s a good impression on the protagonist ’s wife, reflecting her morality purity and loyalty, and giving others confidence. The name also represents the protagonist ’s faith. On the other hand, she attended the devil’s party, so the name ‘faith’ does not match the wife’s actual behavior. There is a dark side in her heart. She is not as pure as the name implies. In this sense, the name ‘faith’ is ironic.
According to essaywriter.com(free example of). Faith is a person’s highest moral state, when people faces difficulties and obstacles, it will give people a strong spiritual support. With faith, no matter how many difficulties you encounter, there is a reason for perseverance; with faith, no matter how painful, there is courage to face it; with faith, you can endure loneliness and take responsibility.Faith plays an important role in people’s life.When you are confused or lost in the future, faith will strengthen your soul,give you peace of mind, and allow you to move forward better.If a person loses his faith, he will inevitably loses the freedom of life and the respect for the moral bottom line.One must constantly improve oneself through faith.