One of the first symbols that Hawthorne uses in “Young Goodman Brown” is the village in which the story takes place, Salem village in Massachusetts. The reason that the village is symbolic to the story is because of what occurred in Salem’s history. According to Susan Balee, a writer for The Hudson Review, “the witchcraft crisis overwhelmed Salem in 1692” (Balee 377). During this time it was thought that the devil lived in the forests of Salem. The Puritans were accusing each other of being a witch and it led to the deaths of many men and women. If a person was accused of being a witch he/she would be considered as a follower of the devil. The first assumption that can be made by this cultural symbol is a prediction that “Young Goodman Brown” will be about Puritans and witches. Even though the story is not necessarily about witches, it has something to do with the fact that Puritans thought the devil lived in the forest of Salem during the trials. Also, another reason that Hawthorne probably used ...
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...e, Susan. "Captives of Their Imagination: Salem in 1692." The Hudson Review 56.2 (2003): 377. Questia. Web. 27 Nov. 2013.
Ferber, Michael. A Dictionary of Literary Symbols. Cambridge, England: Cambridge UP, 1999. Questia. Web. 28 Nov. 2013.
Harper, Preston. "Puritan Works Salvation and the Quest for Community in "THE SCARLET LETTER"." Theology Today. April 2000: 51-65. SIRS Renaissance. Web. 29 Nov 2013.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “Young Goodman Brown.” Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. Ed. Edgar V. Roberts and Robert Zweig. 5th Compact ed. New York: Pearson Longman, 2012. 329-37. Print.
Stearns, Frank Preston. The Life and Genius of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1906. Questia. Web. 28 Nov. 2013.
Tharpe, Jac. Nathaniel Hawthorne: Identity and Knowledge. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois UP, 1967. Questia. Web. 29 Nov. 2013.
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