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In an effort to discuss the theme of initiation in “Kinsman” and “Goodman Brown”, I feel it is necessary to first define what is meant by initiation. As a definition found in Webster’s dictionary, initiation is described as the rites, ceremonies, ordeals or instructions in which one is made a member of a sect or society and is invested with a particular function or status. One might first think of an initiation as in …

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…and thrown a loop which will hopefully lead him on a self-earned successful path. Goodman Brown is initiated into a test of faith which he fails miserably and ends up ruining his life. In evaluating these stories we must look past a precise definition and look more closely at human behavior in relation to and in response to initiation. Clearly, both of these stories reflect themes of initiation, but in totally different ways. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ **Bibliography**