The character I chose for this project is from one of my favorite work of literature we have read in this class. This character is very interesting that makes us readers think and reflect back on ourselves after reading the story of this character. He is a young resident of Salem and is the protagonist of the story. He is a good Christian who has recently married his wife, named Faith. He takes pride in his family’s history of piety and their reputation in the community as godly men. His curiosity, however, leads him to accept an invitation from a mysterious traveler to observer an evil ceremony in the middle of the forest, one that shocks and disillusions him. He shows both innocence and corruptibility as he vacillates between believing in the inherent goodness of the people around him and believing that the devil has taken over the minds of all the people he loves. This vacillation reveals his lack of true religion as well as of the good and evil sides of human nature.
For this particular character, I decided to create a Pinterest account. I created four boards which are categories with at least twenty pins that I believe display the facts and interest of this character. This character changes drastically from the beginning to the end of the book and so does his interests. Some of the pins on his Pinterest may seem strange or even questionable. The first board I created for this character is called “Wilderness”. The story of this character and his drastic change starts in the wilderness which significantly impacted on him. From the moment he steps into the forest, he voices his fear of the wilderness, seeing the forest as a place where no good is possible. The Puritans at the time believed that the wild New World was something to fear and then dominate. This character was associating the forest with the wild “Indians” and sees one hiding behind every tree. He believes that the devil could easily be present in such place and even eventually sees the devil himself. He considers it a matter of family honor that his forefathers would never have walked in the forest for pleasure. He himself is ashamed to be seen walking in the forest and even hides from the minister, Goody Cloyse, and Deacon Gookin past. The forest is characterized as devilish, frightening, and dark, and he becomes comfortable in it once he has given in to evil. From looking at this board, several pins are the forked road, representing which path is right or wrong, which basically reflects the character’s changes in the wilderness. Another pin is a dark and eerie forest, representing the evil he gives into. Lastly, another pin posted is a poem by Robert Frost, called “The Road Not Taken”. This poem reflects the character’s situation. The paths in the woods and forks in roads are ancient metaphors for the lifeline, its crises and decisions. Identical forks, in particular, symbolize for us the nexus of free will and fate: We are free to chose, but we do not really know beforehand what we are choosing between. These pins are something that could remind the character how did he become like who he is and why.
The second board I created for this character is called “Reject the Light”. In this board, there are pins that represent the loss of innocence, the rejection of purity and light, and the upbringing of evilness. There is couple of pictures of the devil, Lucifer. He is the source of ultimate evil, a fallen angel who lives to torture sinners. There is a picture of Jesus Christ being held on the cross, looking down. The stillness of this painting is very “dark” similarly to the picture of the naked lady in the church showing the abandonment of religion which is basically what this character encountered and dealt with. Another pin is the Salem Witch Trial in Salem Village, Massachusetts, which is where a group of young girls claimed to be possessed by the devil and accused several local women of witchcraft. From this trail, the innocence of a lot people were questioned which is what the character have asked himself and doubted the innocence of everyone else including his own wife, Faith. Very much similar to the Salem Witch Trial, a pin, “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller, is another thing that best represents the story of the character. In “The Crucible”, moral laws and state laws are one and the same so the sin and the status of an individual’s soul are matters of public concern. Any individual whose private life doesn’t conform to the established moral laws represents a threat not only to the public good but also to the rule of God and true religion. In the story, during the trial, exposes many character’s true colors which creates hysteria and make the protagonist realize nobody is morally good. The trials brand all social deviants with the taint of devil-worship and therefore cause their elimination from the community. These pins reflect the character’s losses of his innocence because of his inherent corruptibility, which suggests that whether the events in the forest were a dream or reality, the loss of his innocence was inevitable. These pins would be able to tell my character what made him go to the dark side and why.
The third board is called “Religious Allusions”. Through the story, the character is surrounded by several allusions. One of the pin is the snake wrapped around a staff and another pin is Eve and the forbidden tree. In the story, the character encounters the devil. The devil’s staff is encircled by a carved serpent and this is a biblical symbol of the serpent as an evil demon. In the book of Genesis, the serpent tempts Eve to taste the fruit from the forbidden tree, defying God’s will and bringing his wrath upon humanity. When the devil tells the character to use the staff to travel faster, he takes him on the offer, and like Eve, is ultimately condemned for his weakness by losing his innocence. The serpent also represents Eve’s curiosity, which leads her into that temptation. Taking upon that staff guided the character to the path of evil. Another pin is pink ribbon with a cross. The pink ribbon is the ribbon that Faith puts in her cap that represents her purity. The ribbon appears again in the forest when the character is struggling with his doubts about the goodness of the people he knows. The pink flutters down from the sky, which the character perceives it as a sign that Faith has definitely fallen into the realm of the devil. Seeing Faith at the ceremony changes the character ideas about what is good or bad in the world, taking away his strength and ability to resist. These pins will describe my character what caused him to be the person he is now.
The last board is “Awakening”. It is reveled that what the character sees as the corruptibility is the results from Puritan society’s emphasis on public morality, which often weaken private religion faith. He hides from certain people and his afraid to question his own faith. It shows that he is more concerned with how his faith appears to other people than with the fact that he had decided to meet with the devil. Seeing everyone he knows being part of the league of the devil makes the character want to join the league. When members copy the belief of the people around them, their faith becomes weak and rootless. There are several pins that portray this idea. One of them is the picture from “Breaking Bad” of Walter White with the quote, “I am awake.” Walter White use to be the man who followed every rules but then decides to break bad, meaning to turn against one’s previously lawful lifestyle for one of criminal acts, which is usually at the cost of someone else’s life or well-being. There are also quotes from “Game of Thrones” and Thomas Paine talking about self-realization that reflects the character’s own self-realization. Another quote is “Big Brother is watching you” is about how a person in Puritan society would always feel the pressure of living up to the expectations of a society that had such rigid rules of living. The dragon picture quote is from Elder Scroll’s Skyrim, “What is better- to be born good or to overcome your evil nature through great effort?” describes how one would feel that it is much better to accept ones true nature, rather than pretend it doesn’t exist, and through acceptance, attempt to better oneself, which is a better road than submitting to hypocritical nature followed by others around you., The Metallica album, “Master of Puppets” symbolizes how a large number of people are controlled by an omnipotent being and are nothing but pawns. All these quotes and pins would be helpful to my character to understand what he is going through and that he is not the only one facing this and that there are many others out there like him.
In case you guys haven’t guessed yet, my character is Goodman Brown from “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne.
To check out his Pinterest, here is the website: https://www.pinterest.com/YGoodmanBrown/