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Hawthorne’s Protagonist Conflict, Essay Example

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Essay

The conflict between evil forces and good is a classical literature theme of all periods of time. Nathaniel Hawthorne in his short narration “Young Goodman Brown,” tells the story of a man known as Goodman Brown, having a similar struggle to deal with a comparable struggle one particular dark night. Questions about evil’s nature and the nature of good and the ambiguous nature of the conflict and these two conflicting forces are raised. The protagonist, Goodman Brown, is trying his best to continue being good amid facing temptation to give into evil. There is no clear definition of the struggle, but rather, there is uncertainty and confusion.

The conflict’s nature in the story is brilliantly disclosed as evil against good. This happens when Goodman Brown meets with a sinister stranger at the road and both walk together to the forest’s darkest part. This is disclosed in the event that Goodman Brown reveals that he was kept back by Faith and made late by her on his current evil endeavor. The story continues to elaborate more on the description of the adversary. This is seen through the description of the devilish 50 year old travelling with Brown, and his meetings with Brown’s ancestors, and men who were prominent in the community. The rising action is intensified by the author, Hawthorne in the manner that within the event of Brown wanting to retreat in order to save face with the community’s minister, he sees his catechism teacher, Goody Cloyse, who was his teacher from his time as a youth. This is a confirmation that Brown was a man of God from the Catholic Church. As Goodman Brown proceeds further into the forest, the forest becomes darker, which is a representation of how deeper and deeper Brown is involving himself with evil and being drawn away from his religion’s light. Upon being left alone and being separated from everyone apart from the voices of the people passing by on the road, he tries to pray by looking up to heaven, but to his disappointment, a cloud covers all the brightening stars hiding them from him. From this occurrence, it can be understood that, Goodman Brown has not only lost track of Faith in his wife, but there is the destruction of his beliefs, as well.

The evil one is loitering around every corner of the tale, and even upon Brown waking up the next morning trying to wonder whether all that he saw was just a dream, the devil emerges the winner. This makes Goodman suspicious of every person in his community. Therefore, he does not have the capacity to lead a truly social life with any of the people because he fears that they are all evildoers. He is not able to participate in the church’s meetings actively. This is because there was a sin anthem that passed thunderously upon Brown’s ear, and led to the drowning of all the strain that had been blessed.

It is evident that the conflict in this story is not quite resolute. This is because Brown was still at war with himself until his demise. Though Brown seemingly makes adjustments concerning Salem and Faith to the effect that he can live with both, he has no more innocence and inner peace, which he had before evil intruded his life.

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