Symbolism in Young Goodman Brown2

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In "Young Goodman Brown" Nathaniel Hawthorne uses symbolism and irony to illustrate the theme of man, oblivious that sin is an inescapable part of human nature, attempting to escape from sin. The idea that mankind is perfectible, or perhaps that good Puritans are without imperfection, seems to dominate the worldview of Hawthorne's Puritan everyman, Young Goodman Brown. His naive ideas are contrasted against the vision of profound betrayal in the forest to create a stark …

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…Hawthorne, he states simply, "Be it so, if you will. Yet the effect the vision has on Brown is profound. He becomes "A stern, a sad, a darkly meditative, a distrustful, if not a desperate man..." afterward. Perhaps Young Goodman Brown has misunderstood the meaning of "Faith" in his simplicity, expecting to live life free of doubt. Hawthorne's character illustrates the consequences of embracing too pious of an attitude and too simplistic of a view.