Goodman Brown Final

Goodman Brown Final - 2/15/08 EN 110 Sin: Not Just a Dark...

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2/15/08 EN 110 Sin: Not Just a Dark Matter The dichotomy between good and evil is a pervasive and reoccurring theme in literature, which emphasizes to its prevalence in human nature. Most texts hold extreme views on evil and sinning, but Nathanial Hawthorne’s “Goodman Brown” contradicts this traditional view. Converse to the black and white view on sin, Hawthorne shows readers a grey area through his usage of setting; dark and light imagery often parallel the protagonist’s inner conflicts and catalog his journey and decay as a character. Hawthorne introduces darkness’ multifaceted nature as it relates to Brown in the first few paragraphs. When his wife faith asks him to “tarry with [her] this night,” Brown refuses, stating, “this one night must [he] tarry away from [her…], [as his] journey […] needs to be done ‘twixt [then] and sunrise.”(1264) Darkness falls between sunrise and sunset, the same time period in which Brown plans conduct his journey. The dichotomy between light and dark is often used to describe the two parts of human nature; typically, light symbolizes goodness, and darkness symbolizes evil. The evil side of human nature, as typified by darkness, lures Brown. Nightfall is also the end of any visibility. Leaving his wife, aptly named Faith, and heading blindly into darkness signifies his momentary renunciation of religious faith. Nevertheless, Brown refuses to acknowledge his dark path as sinful. Though he does not choose to identify the dark with sin, he associates it with
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Goodman Brown Final - 2/15/08 EN 110 Sin: Not Just a Dark...

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