In Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown, the author uses a dark setting, religious symbolism, and vivid imagery to portray that no one is sin free, and evil lies within everyone. Hawthorne opens one's eyes to the fact that everyone has skeletons in their closet. Ultimately, sin can work its way into anyone's life. Although one may seem pure on the surface, everyone battles with the darkness inside them. This story pulls at one's heart's strings, and makes one analyze the good and evil that lies within during their religious fight.
Nathaniel Hawthorne uses a dreary and gloomy setting to portray that both good and evil dwell within man. Brown had taken a "dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest, which barely stood aside to let the narrow path creep through." This shows that even though the road may seem dark, that doesn't mean it is. In life, there really is light at the end of the tunnel. While Brown was in the forest, he heard two men on the trail. He thought to himself, "Whither, then, could these holy men by journeying, so deep into the heathen wilderness?" Just because one may seem holy on the outside, doesn't mean that they are the same on the inside. Purity should lie within. While progressing through the forest, Brown "saw a red light before him, as when the felled trunks and branches of clearing have been set on fire and throw up their lurid blaze against the sky." It is true that evil was ahead. However, one can remain strong and fight temptations.
Through the use of Faith and the pink ribbon, Hawthorne questions one's purity and innocence. Faith pleads with Brown to "pry' thee, put off your journey until sunrise." Brown refuses and feels as if he can withstand temptations. His wife brings to perspective that evil can tempt one in many ways. As Brown continue his journey, he recalls "the head of Faith still peeping after him, with a melancholy air, in spite of her pink ribbons.