Goodman Brown Symbolism

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In the short story, “Young Goodman Brown”, Nathaniel Hawthorne enlightens his readers through symbolism regarding the plight of mankind. His ancestor John Hathorne, a judge during the Salem witch trials, compelled Nathaniel to use his literary work to express his thoughts about human morality. However, the guilt Hawthrone felt concerning his ancestors, caused him to add a “w” to his name to hide their relation. Salem, the setting for the story, foreshadows the symbolism that Hawthrone creates throughout his writing. The being known for its hypocrisy, a “goodman” could hide behind a pious persona and conceal his wickedness. In using the symbolism of a traveler with his staff, a forest and his “Faith”, Hawthorne develops the idea “evil is the nature of…show more content…
Goodman Brown starts his journey, and promises to come back to his wife, “Faith”. His whole world is turned around, because of his faith. Hawthorne cleverly uses this word to interchangeably explain Goodman Brown’s spiritual faith, but also his relationship with one of the most important people in his life. “Faith, faith! cried the husband. “look up to heaven, and resist the wicked one.” Goodman Brown isn’t only calling for his wife to reject the philosophies of the devil, but he is crying out for his own redemption in tribulation. Even upon returning to reality, he never looked at this “Faith” the same way, just as a person who has had their beliefs shaken to the core. Goodman Brown’s revelation of his own “Faith” causes him to be live his life desolate of spiritual faith, and “his dying hour was gloom.” Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “Young Goodman Brown” utilized various symbolisms to bring deeper meaning to his story. He was riddled with guilt from his ancestor’s pasts and wanted to bring discernment to his readers about their true nature. By his profound, eloquent metaphors, he is able to keep reader’s captivated for
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