Is evil part of Human Nature? Discuss with regards to "The Minister's Black Veil" and "Young Goodman Brown" by Hawthorne

Essay by doancnCollege, UndergraduateA+, February 2003

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Is Evil Part of Human Nature?

In society, people are criticized, punished, and despised for their individual choices and flaws. In "The Minister's Black Veil" and "Young Goodman Brown", Hawthorne portrays sins as an unavoidable part of human nature. What is sin? In the bible, sin is regarded as any transgression of, or any lack of conformity to the holy will and nature of God. There is still evil that lurks in everyone's souls and human nature is bound to be flawed and imperfect. The portrayal of this unavoidable sin and evil is expressed through the nature of sin itself, through the main characters of Hawthorne's stories, and through the people and society surrounding the main characters.

In Young Goodman Brown's character, sin was eventually shown as part of his nature. Young Goodman Brown's name itself had some significant symbolism. Young shows that he is innocent and naïve.

At first Young Goodman Brown seems to be innocent and naïve because he thought that everybody was good and didn't commit sin. When somebody is sheltered in an environment where they only experience the good, they are bound to become curious. Young Goodman Brown was like a young child. He became curious about the unknown evil that he was taught about. Maybe he felt some excitement to explore the forbidden and that is why he felt he had to go on his journey, which took him away from his wife, Faith, and his faith in God. This is seen in the beginning of the story when he says, "My love and my Faith, of all nights in the year, this one night must I tarry away from thee" (1264). Faith is used in this line as a pun. It has two meanings, one his wife and...