“Poor little Faith!” thought he, for his heart smote him. “What a wretch am I, to leave her on such an errand! She talks of dreams, too. Methought, as she spoke, there was trouble in her face, as if a dream had warned her what work is to be done tonight. But, no, no! ‘twould kill her to think it. Well; she’s a blessed angel on earth; and after this one night, I’ll cling to her skirts and follow her to Heaven.” – Hawthorne, “Young Goodman Brown.”
Whenever a woman is named faith in modern literature it sets off a bell to look for a longer theme within the novel about faith. The fact that Young Goodman Brown leaves her prior to the journey makes me think that he is traveling on his journey without faith; and as we find out throughout his travels, his faith in life, love and namely religion is tested in his travels.
Another aspect of this specific quote that intrigues me is the mention of faith having a dream that would trouble her prior to Goodman Brown’s departure. If that isn’t a big-ass red blinking sign that screams foreshadowing i do not know what is.
Something that intrigues me, as i sit here and ponder this, is if the whole sequence of Hawthorne’s story is in fact a dream? How would that effect the rest of the novel? Would it add clarity or would it mystify it that much more?
After rereading the entire story i look at this passage as the moment YGB “shrunk from the bosom of faith.” Could the mention of the dream be the foreshadowing omen? Was she the oracle to YGB’s Oedipus?
What do you think?