Good vs. Evil in Young Goodman Brown Essay

1921 WordsJun 26, 20128 Pages
Sadie Zamora Dr. Wesson-Martin English 1302 8 March 2012 The Draw of Darkness From the beginning of time, there have been constant battles between the forces of good and evil. An example in the Bible would be Adam and Eve versus the serpent. In Beowulf, there is Beowulf versus Grendel representing good battling evil. In J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, there is a perfect example of the battle against evil that young Frodo faces as he makes the journey to rid himself of the ring. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown,” the forces of evil tug at the protagonist repeatedly, forming a very central theme. These dark pictures of evil illustrate how the protagonist, Young Goodman Brown, takes a journey throughout the story- not only a physical journey but one of much deeper meaning that shows how, over time, the evil evokes emotion from within him. From the beginning of the story, Hawthorne paints a memorable picture: “Young Goodman Brown came forth, at sunset, into the street of Salem Village, but put his head back after crossing the threshold to exchange a parting kiss from a young wife” (435). Hawthorne explains Goodman Brown’s young wife’s name is Faith and says she is “aptly named,” which is an indication of her virtue and the symbol of faith that she represents in his life (435). Perhaps the most obvious recurrent symbol of Faith in the story is the set of pink ribbons worn in her hair. They are mentioned multiple times at the beginning of the story, painting a symbolic picture that her pure-heartedness remains constant even as he leaves her for the night. Towards the middle of the story as Young Goodman is knee deep in the evil path; he looks up and sees a pink ribbon floating. Even after his horrific, dream-like experience, he sees Faith again in the village, still wearing her

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