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Goodman Case - "faith", Mans Best Enemy

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"Faith", Mans best Enemy

A good literal criticism for "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne can be a psychological criticism. Goodman goes through many challenges that test his faith, making him think and feel the faith he was instilled with was all hypercritical and a lie. When Goodman meets the old man that is going to guide him on the journey through the forest the old man tells him he is late and Goodman responds by saying "Faith kept me back awhile". Faith is the name of his wife, but what he said is very symbolic of his own faith. Goodman put a great deal of his faith into his Deacon and Minister. Goodman stumbles upon them talking about the "Evil" ceremony, hearing and seeing them talk to each other with excitement about getting to the ceremony took his faith in man right then and there. It also took some religious faith. Goodman losing his faith is the reason several people in life lose faith, he put his faith in man.

An Innocence and Experience theme is a great theme for this story. Goodman started the journey with strong faith in man and his religion. The Journey ended with Goodman having no faith at all due to what he experienced while on the journey. His faith was slowly weakening when he saw his deacon and minister heading to the "Evil" ceremony. Goodman also saw his wife Faith at the actual ceremony. When Goodman says "My Faith is gone!" and "There is no good on earth and sin is but a name..." it symbolizes the loss of his religious faith. His experience during the journey was too much for his faith to bear. Goodman's faith was forever gone and he lived the rest of his life faithless.



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