Essay about The Allegorical Nature of “Young Goodman Brown”

Essay about The Allegorical Nature of “Young Goodman Brown”

Length: 849 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Nathaniel Hawthorne is a man of a long American history. He was born in Salem, Massachusetts to the Hathorne family, who date back to the original Puritans of America. In fact, Hawthorne added the 'W' to his last name to differentiate himself from John Hathorne, a prominent judge in the Salem Witch Trials. Hawthorne is a well known American Gothic author of the Romantic period; some of his commonly known works are: “The Scarlet Letter,” “The House of Seven Gables,” and “Young Goodman Brown”(Meltzer). The Romantic period was a period when the population at large focused on: the supernatural, an impulse to reform, the celebration of life, nature, and the idealization of woman(The Romantic Period) Hawthorne's short story “Young Goodman Brown” can be classified as a moral allegory, because it is a story that has two levels of meaning: literal and symbolic. The allegorical nature of “Young Goodman Brown” is evident throughout the story due to Hawthorne's use of imagery and symbolism to ultimately ridicule the true weakness in American religion. The important symbols of the story are: the different characters themselves, the setting of the story being in Salem, and Brown's journey through the forest.
The most prominent use of imagery and symbolism is in the way Hawthorne conveys his characters. Hawthorne begins his story with a religious allegory by introducing Young Goodman Brown's wife, who was “aptly named” Faith(Hawthorne 329). Hawthorne vividly describes Faith as having pink ribbons in her hair, and as a believer of God, to paint an image of innocence. In the beginning scene of the story, when Young Goodman Brown says goodbye to Faith, she parted ways with the final words of “then God bless you, and may you find all well, when yo...


... middle of paper ...


...If Young Goodman Brown would have remained faithful to his religion and God, like he was supposed to, he never would have found his wife at the devil's communion, and he never would have has lost his innocence of being a good Puritan.



Works Cited

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. "Young Goodman Brown." Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. By Edgar V. Roberts and Robert Zweig. Boston, Mass.: Longman, 2012. 329-37. Print.
Meltzer, Milton. Nathaniel Hawthorne: A Biography. Minneapolis, MN: Twenty-First Century, 2 007. Print.
"Puritan Life." Ushistory.org. Independence Hall Association, n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2014. .
"The Romantic Period in American Literature and Art." Education-Portal.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2014. .

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Summary Of ' Young Goodman Brown ' Essay

- Intro: “We have been a race of honest men and good Christians…”(Hawthorne, pg. 388). In Salem, Massachusetts evil was found everywhere; therefore, many good Puritans fell through the evil of witchcraft. This concept is found in the short story of “Young Goodman Brown”, where the readers are introduced to a innocent and pure couple who are all about religion and against any evil worshippers. Faith and Goodman Brown will face a diabolic journey to hell, and fight against the will of evil which is nearly impossible for everyone in town has walked through sin.I am writing about Young Goodman Brown because I am trying to show you how Hawthorne relies on Faith, the old man, and young Goodman Brown...   [tags: Young Goodman Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne]

Better Essays
829 words (2.4 pages)

Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Young Goodman Brown Essay

- In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown”, Goodman Brown struggles with staying pure and not giving in to the devil. Hawthorne utilizes allegory and ambiguity to leave unanswered questions for the reader. Hawthorne names his wife Faith. Her name symbolizes the faith in all mankind. Hawthorne describes Faith as “the wife was aptly named” (Hawthorne 1). In the end of Young Goodman Brown, Goodman brown loses his faith and his wife disappears."My Faith is gone. There is no good on earth. Come, devil; for to thee is this world given."(Hawthorne 6)....   [tags: Young Goodman Brown, Allegory]

Better Essays
702 words (2 pages)

The Ambiguity in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown Essays

- The Ambiguity in “Young Goodman Brown”        The literary critics agree that there is considerable ambiguity in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown.” This essay intends to illustrate the previous statement and to analyze the cause of this ambiguity.   Henry James in Hawthorne, when discussing “Young Goodman Brown” comments on how imaginative it is, then mentions how allegorical Hawthorne is, and how allegory should be expressed clearly:   I frankly confess that I have, as a general thing, but little enjoyment of it, and that it has never seemed to me to be, as it were, a first-rate literary form....   [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]

Better Essays
1574 words (4.5 pages)

Ambiguity in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown Essay

- Ambiguity in “Young Goodman Brown”               Peter Conn in “Finding a Voice in an New Nation” makes a statement regarding Hawthorne’s ambiguity:  “Almost all of Hawthorne’s finest stories are remote in time or place. The glare of contemporary reality immobillized his imagination. He required shadows and half-light, and he sought a nervous equilibrium in ambiguity” (82). There is considerable ambiguity in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown,” and this essay will examine this and its causes....   [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]

Better Essays
1640 words (4.7 pages)

Ambiguity in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown Essay example

- Ambiguity in “Young Goodman Brown”             There is no end to the ambiguity in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown”; this essay hopes to explore this problem.   Peter Conn in “Finding a Voice in an New Nation” makes a statement regarding Hawthorne’s ambiguity:    Almost all of Hawthorne’s finest stories are remote in time or place. The glare of contemporary reality immobillized his imagination. He required shadows and half-light, and he sought a nervous equilibrium in ambiguity....   [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]

Better Essays
1749 words (5 pages)

Essay on A Critique of Puritanism in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

- Young Goodman Brown: A Critique of Puritanism  Given Nathaniel Hawthorne's background, it is not a stretch of the imagination to say that Young Goodman Brown is a critique of  Puritanism.  Hawthorne lived in the deeply scarred New England area, separated from puritanism by only one generation.  His grandfather had been one the judges who presided over the Salem Witch trials.  Some of the principle motifs that run through Hawthorne's works are hidden sin, the supernatural, and the influence of evil.  Ironically enough, puritanism is also a part of those tales.  What then is the moral/ philosophical import of Young Goodman Brown?  It suggests, in an allegorical sense, that puritanism is a...   [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]

Better Essays
631 words (1.8 pages)

Symbolism and Allegory in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown Essays

- Symbolism and Allegory in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown Symbolism, something that figuratively represents something else, is prominent in many literary works. One piece of literature that stands out as a perfect example of symbolism is Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown." This story is completely symbolic, and provides a good example of an allegory, or a story in which concrete items or characters represent abstract ideas. Hawthorne uses both objects and people as symbols to better support the allegorical tones throughout "Young Goodman Brown." Nathaniel Hawthorne uses different people as symbols throughout "Young Goodman Brown." The largest symbolic roles in the story are goodm...   [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]

Free Essays
718 words (2.1 pages)

Blind Faith in Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown Essay

- Young Goodman Brown:  Blind Faith Is it possible for a man to be SO hypnotized by faith that he is incapable of apprehending the truth that surrounds him. Yes. The principle of faith centers heavily around the confident belief of an idea set by a person or community. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown," the faith of an individual conflicts with the faith of the community. The story takes place during the period where all devoted Puritans adopt Calvinism; Goodman Brown being one of them....   [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]

Better Essays
929 words (2.7 pages)

Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown's Apocalypse Essay

- Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown's Apocalypse         Most criticism and reflection of Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown centers on a good versus evil theme. Critics also debate interpretations of the main character's consciousness; is Brown awake or dreaming.  What is certain is that he lives and dies in pain because his belief in his righteousness isolates him from his community.  It is also certain that Hawthorne's interpretation of Brown's "mid-life crisis" has ambiguity and leaves a reader with many different feelings about what and why certain things have happened.  Hawthorne's use of symbolism in his allegorical tale Young Goodman Brown causes th...   [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]

Better Essays
1020 words (2.9 pages)

Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown and its Author Essay

-      Initially, of course, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s literary works went unranked among those of other American and British writers. But his reputation grew gradually even among contemporary critics, until he was recognized as a “man of genius.” Edgar Allen Poe, in a review of Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown,” which had been written 12 years prior, said in Godey's Lady's Book, November, 1847, no. 35, pp. 252-6: It was never the fashion (until lately) to speak of him in any summary of our best authors....   [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]

Better Essays
1266 words (3.6 pages)