In the theme of good vs. evil, Goodman Brown is faced with the decision of staying with his Christian Faith or joining the devil. When hiking through the woods with the devil, Goodman Brown wants to go back to Salem to be with his Faith since he kept up his end of the bargain. He tells the devil, "Friend, having kept covenant by meeting thee here, it is my purpose now to return whence I came." He says this because he feels like he is betraying his Faith by staying with the devil. Another way to relate this theme is that Goodman Brown seems like the only person the town who has not yet converted to evil so he may drop his Christian ways just to be like everyone else.
Symbolism is an author’s method of associating the representation of a person, event, or thing with a much broader idea or range of ideas without losing the symbols literal meaning. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, Young Goodman Brown, Hawthorne uses people and objects to allegorically reveal an abstract truth to his audience. However, the largest symbolic role that Hawthorne cast in this particular story was Faith, Goodman Brown’s wife. In his story, Hawthorne illustrates a Puritan man, Goodman Brown, going on a journey to spiritual experience. Before setting on his journey, Goodman Brown had to leave his wife, Faith, behind.
In Corinthians, St. Paul said, "We ought to live our life's by faith and not by sight." However what if our sight becomes stronger than our faith and what faith you though you had, perishes by the reality in front of you. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story, "Young Goodman Brown", the principles and morals of the main character are put in doubt when a series of events cause him to question his real faith. Further on, his Christian values become an object of ridicule and his only nature becomes sin itself. However faith was an important part of his life and his childhood principles were the reason behind his good deeds.
Jody’s Christian virtues of love, charity, and self-sacrifice helped him to enjoy life and to gain great happiness in serving Flag. Jody’s sense of responsibility helped him to cooperate with helping his family to survive in the backwoods of Florida. Sometimes he even stayed up at night to keep the ‘coons out of the corn or the wolves away from the livestock. His never ending courage and self-sacrifice helped him go on a long hunt, on Christmas, to kill a bear that had stolen and killed a Baxter cow. His good Christian values helped him deal with all the trials of a backwoodsmen’s life and helped him care for his family.
He is a true everyman, and his name helps the reader sympathize with this character. A second important and symbolic character in the story is Goodman's wife, Faith, whose name also has symbolic meaning. Not only is she his wife, she represents his religious beliefs, and multiple times she is spoken of in the story in such a way that could be referring not just to her as a character, but to Goodman's beliefs as well. For example, when he arrives to the forest, the gentleman waiting there for him remarks that he is late. Goodman responds "Faith kept me back a while" (264).
My reasoning for thinking this is because in the end it is shown that it was only a dream that Brown has when he falls asleep in the forest. The priest and other figures in the church were seen by Brown in his dream. So, not only was Faith infected or taken but also high figures in the church. Young Goodman Brown also plays an important role because within his name it states that he is a young, good man, which is ironic because he even gets infected. He lets the evil into his head and clouds his vision of others.
Although Hawthorne is again somewhat ambiguous, the text suggests that Mr. Hooper’s veil is meant to symbolize the inherent sin that lies inside him (as well as the congregation). For example, Mr. Hooper attempts to explain to his wife the reasoning behind his consistent wearing of the veil. He attests, “If I hide my face for sorrow, there is cause enough…and if I cover it for secret sin, what mortal might not do the same?” (Hawthorne 28). This hidden sin or mysterious origin of why Mr. Hooper is wearing the veil is what he hopes the congregation will eventually come to mimic and recognize in themselves. But instead of adopting this concept, the congregation sees the veil as a mental and physical barrier separating them from the minister.
A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND There are few superficial similarities between The Misfit and the Grandmother in Flannery O’Connor’s short story “A Good Man Is Hard to Find.” The true similarities between them are really beneath the surface and at once more profound. These similarities, however, are fiercely debated among O’Connor’s critics, as most disagree with her that the Misfit is the good man in her ‘parable’ (McDermott, J. V., 2010). It is only by considering that O’Connor saw the world through a prism of Christian orthodoxy, or peoples relation to Redemption by Christ, that her ‘parable’ can be seen for what it is; a comparative mystery play (Whitt, M. E., 2010). The mystery then is how two people, whose similarity appears to be that they are both blind to the root cause of their sin, can be each other’s source of redemption. The journey to revelation by common people is a primary theme in biblical stories; the underlying intent being to draw in the reader to identify with the protagonists.
Jeremiah Nicholson Professor Feldman English 303 13 August 2012 Are Good People Hard To Find? Is a good man hard to find? If asking this exact same question to the majority of the female population the answer to this question would be certainly yes. So when Flannery O’Connor’s wrote a short story titled “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” one would be lead to believe that this work is just like any other male hating work of literature that is unless one knew the way in which O’Connor used her special way of writing to reach and preach to fellow readers of her work. Knowing O’Connor’s religious background will help in deconstructing the two main characters in “A Good Man Is Hard to Find”.
The journey that Goodman Brown takes itself is a symbol of good versus evil. He is curious about what is happening out in the forest so he meets up with the “man” or devil who takes him on a journey to see a ceremony and along the way he sees many things that make him think twice. He actually asks himself this question, “What if the devil himself should be at my very elbow?” (155) The man’s staff is gnarled and twisted like a snake which can be thought of as the serpent that tempted Adam and Eve. The staff also acted as a tool to help him move through the forest at a quicker pace. When he leaves his wife at the beginning of the story, her pink ribbons symbolize her virtue and goodness but somewhere in the course of the evening he lost the meanings of those pink ribbons and only saw what Faith might have done while in the forest.