What does Faith symbolize in "Young Goodman Brown"? 

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Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" is a complex tale of a young Puritan man's decision to leave his wife and village and walk into the surrounding forest. Although the reason for this dangerous journey is ambiguously described first as "his present evil purpose," we learn later that he is taking a walk on the dark side to test his faith in his Puritan belief system, accompanied by a guide who turns out to be Satan. The journey, of course, may actually be taking place in his troubled mind in the form of a dream vision, but for Goodman Brown, the experience is real.

Young Goodman Brown's wife is Faith, whose name serves both to denote her role as wife and as an emblem of a 17th century Puritan's belief system. When she attempts to dissuade Goodman Brown from his journey, we learn that she, too, is troubled:

"Dearest heart," whispered she, softly and rather sadly, when her lips were close to his ear, "pr'ythee, put off your journey until sunrise, and sleep in your own bed to-night....

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 721 words.)

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