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A True Romance vs. Young Goodman Brown

Nathaniel Hawthorne, in his short story, “Young Goodman Brown”, generates a relationship in direct contrast with that of a true romance among the roles of Faith and Young Goodman Brown. Whereas, a true romance is the ideal romance, exhibiting virtuous aspects such as trust, as well as a burning passion and an undying love for one another. The relationship which Young Goodman creates between himself and Faith is one that is unresponsive , and is based on distrust and a willingness on his part to abandon her.

Consequently, as far as passion and desire are concerned, someone quickly call Dr. Ruth because this marriage is in trouble. After Faith asks Goodman not to depart that night, pleading, “pray tarry with me this night, dear husband, of all nights in the year”, he answers her saying , “my journey must be done. ” He then questions the sincerity of her “peculiar” plea asking whether she doubts him. Since when is it such a farfetched request for a wife to ask her husband for company on a given night?

Does this request signify a lack of trust in her husband? If anything, it illustrates a lack of self confidence in himself as well as a lack of trust in her. In addition, after departing his wife, Goodman Brown states to the mysterious man he meets in the forest, that “Faith kept [him] back awhile. ” This means that although both his wife, Faith, and his own faith delay him, they cannot stop him and thus aren’t more important than committing this deed. Furthermore, there is no evidence of his trust for her in the marriage.

Immediately after witnessing a pink ribbon fluttering down onto the branch of a tree, Young Goodman Brown cries out, ” my Faith is gone! ” By this statement, Goodman means that his wife has physically gone over to the devil and that his faith in her is gone. This, thereby proves the absence of trust in his wife. When he does see Faith in the forest, he yells to her to resist the devil, but is unsure of her ultmate decision. Therefore, upon his return to town, Hawthorne writes after that night, he “shrank from the bosom of Faith. Goodman isn’t even able to determine whether or not Faith has chosen the right path. Once and for all, this demonstrates the privation of faith and trust in her on Young Goodman’s part, in addition to the lack of a deep, pure, and undying love for Faith. For if it were not so, he would not be so quick to abandon his faith if Faith without a struggle, Hence the relationship between Young Goodman Brown and Faith is not that of a true romance, simply because of the insufficience of trust, faith, and passion Young Goodman possesses for his wife.

Afterall, a relationship is a two way street. By setting up Goodman’s character and actions like he does, Hawthorne is trying to convey a message of upmost importance. Goodman goes to the forest on a quest to seek all those who are evil. Eventhough by going to the forest, his only purpose is to satisfy his unsatiable curiosity, it interferes and eventually destroys his own life, This is symbolic of the Puritan People who, in their quest for sinners such as witches and those possessed by the devil, live their lives neurotic, and in suspicion and doubt.

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