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Young Goodman Brown - Nathaniel Hawthorne

            Nathaniel Hawthorne had a strong belief humans were intuitively evil; one of Hawthorne's ancestors was involved in prosecuting the "witches" in Salem, Massachusetts in the 1690s, and Hawthorne, being born in Salem, lived with the haunting of this ancestral guilt. Just because Hawthorne criticized his Puritan backgrounds does not mean he had fully escaped it, therefor his Puritan foundation went on influencing his writing. Goodman Brown, being a newly married man to his wife Faith, is naive and still questioning his faith or religion. Unable to accept either the evil or joys of life, Goodman Brown has lost his faith, both in mankind and his wife, this is evident in "Young Goodman Brown", from the way he goes on his journey through the forest to how he ends up with Faiths pink ribbon in the palm his hands.
             Goodman Browns wife Faith is an innocent, young and pure woman who was strongly against Goodman Brown going out into the forest. She is the ideal women to those who have strong Puritan beliefs and is the perfect example of someone the devil may want to lure Brown away from. The farther Goodman got from his wife the more vulnerable he became. Before leaving his wife he looked back at the house and in the window "saw the head of Faith still peeping after him with a melancholy air, in spite of her pink ribbons."(p.237). Faiths pink ribbons symbolize or portray her child-like innocence or purity. He then sets on a journey through a forest and was unable to fight off his own temptations. The deeper into the forest Brown goes, the more doubtful and confused he becomes with his beliefs. When Goodman Brown runs into a devil like figure he apologizes for arriving late and states "Faith kept me back a while" (p.238). When Brown said this he meant this literally and figuratively. Faith his wife kept him back because she was cautious of him going and she was keeping him from evil.

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