The Allegory Of Nathanial Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

analytical Essay
1362 words
1362 words

Nathanial Hawthorne besieged with his ancestral ties to the Salem Witch Trials and his loathe for a Puritan society, lead him to create an allegory of a young man’s quest and his struggle between good and evil. Hawthorne wrote figuratively about Puritanical ideals, beliefs and social appearance in Young Goodman Brown. Also, the short story is centered on New England’s history, mostly inspired by Puritan beliefs.
Nathanial Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts in the summer of 1804 to a family with a rich history in New England. After the death of his father in 1808, he spent his adolescent years in Maine on his uncle’s farm and was raised by his mother. At the age of seventeen, Hawthorne’s uncle insisted that he attend college. Hawthorne was not keen on the idea, but eventually gave in and attended Bowdoin College, located in Maine from 1821 to 1824 and was considered an average student. Hawthorne was an avid reader and began writing short stories and novels during his time in college. He published Young Goodman Brown in 1835.
Weighted down by guilt, Nathanial Hawthorne emphasized in the story his bitterness towards his family’s involvement in the Salem Witch Trials by using names of two women persecuted. John Hathorne, his great-great-great grandfather, was an infamous judge, known for his harsh sentencing. He oversaw the sentencing of several women in the Salem Witch Trials from 1692-1693. John Hathorne had a strong connection with Puritanism which inspired the short story Young Goodman Brown. It is suggested that Nathanial Hawthorne’s repulsion to his ancestral background persuaded him to change the spelling of his last name to conceal his connection.
In the allegory, Young Goodman Brown began his journey at twilight in...

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...estraint. It is a lifestyle that has grave societal consequences and personal ones as well.
This allegory is a strong image of man’s relentless battle between good and evil. Mankind’s personal and social quarrels through different dealings can result in good consequences and/or bad consequences. There are many symbols throughout Young Goodman Brown that exemplify Puritan ideology relate to modern times, such as faith, the staff and the forest. Additionally, Nathanial Hawthorne’s ancestral tie to the Salem Witch Trial is a great example of how a man can be tainted by social influences. However, it is up to each person to choose their own path, guided by their perception of faith, no matter their religion. “Depending upon one another's hearts, ye had still hoped that virtue were not all a dream. Now are ye undeceived. Evil is the nature of mankind. (pgs. 325-337)”

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how nathanial hawthorne created an allegory of a young man's quest and his struggle between good and evil in young goodman brown.
  • Narrates how nathanial hawthorne was born in salem, massachusetts, and spent his adolescent years in maine on his uncle’s farm. he attended bowdoin college and was considered an average student.
  • Analyzes how nathanial hawthorne emphasized his bitterness towards his family's involvement in the salem witch trials by using names of two women persecuted.
  • Narrates how young goodman brown began his journey at twilight in salem, massachusetts, calling upon his faith before meeting a man that carried the serpent-shaped staff.
  • Analyzes how young goodman brown is surrounded by religious symbolism related to puritan beliefs, ideologies, and the bible.
  • Analyzes how young goodman brown's marriage to faith symbolized his commitment to his faith in christianity. he felt bad for leaving his wife behind after such a short time married.
  • Explains that puritans believed that one's faith would lead them to heaven, but if faith was lost, so was the person’s soul.
  • Analyzes how objects in young goodman brown symbolize ideas from the bible, such as faith's pink ribbon in her hair. puritans believed that faith was a gift from god.
  • Analyzes how the staff in young goodman brown embodied a device that kept one tethered to weakness and defied the word of god, ultimately resulting in temptation and curiosity.
  • Explains that being tethered to an addiction can change one's life path forever. alcohol, drugs, gambling, and sobriety from these devices become a lifelong battle.
  • Analyzes how puritans believed the forest was a place where evil breathed, lived and conspired.
  • Explains that the forest would alter a person's way of life forever. gang life is hard to break from and has grave societal and personal consequences.
  • Analyzes how young goodman brown exemplifies puritan ideology and how nathanial hawthorne's ancestral tie to the salem witch trial is an example of how a man can be tainted by social influences.

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