"Young Goodman Brown" Analysis

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Hawthorne’s story, “Young Goodman Brown,” appears to be a story about original sin with a lot of symbolism tied in to make it an allegory. An allegory is a story that can be interpreted in different ways to find the hidden meaning behind the symbolism in the story. The three things focused on throughout the short story is Faith, the forest that Goodman Brown takes his journey through, and the staff, which the old man who leads Goodman Brown on his way carries. The short story, “Young Goodman Brown,” uses several symbols such as: Faith, the forest, and the staff to contribute significantly to the allegory. Goodman Brown’s wife, Faith, not only represents Goodman Brown’s wife but also his religious faith. This dual purpose of Faith only makes it harder for Goodman Brown to enter the forest and leave Faith behind (Haddock). On his way into the forest, Goodman Brown is unsure of his decision. To demonstrate this is when he states to himself, “What a wretch am I to leave her on such an errand! She talks of dreams, too. Methought as she spoke there was trouble in her face, as if a dream had warned her what work is to be done tonight. But no, no; ‘t would kill her to think it. Well, she’s a blessed angel on earth; and after this one night I’ll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven.” (Young Goodman Brown). When Goodman Brown meets up with his so called leader in the forest he says, “Faith kept me back awhile…” (Young Goodman Brown). This quote shows the reader that Goodman couldn’t decide between the devil and faith. During the journey, he experiences many moments of uncertainty and sinfulness and wants to turn back, it was at these times, Faith was more important to him than the traveler (Haddock). In addition to Faith represen... ... middle of paper ... ...th, but it was the “test” for Goodman Brown to see if he could obey God and stay true to his faith. In conclusion, “Young Goodman Brown,” uses several symbols such as: Faith, the forest, and the staff to contribute significantly to the allegory. Works Cited D., Jill. “What Does the Staff Represent?” GradeSaver. Gradesaver LLC, 21 June 2012. Web. 30 April 2014. Haddock, John. “Symbolism in ‘Young Goodman Brown’.” Crtical Essays. n.p. n.d. Web. 01 May 2014 Ryken, Leland. “Discuss Hawthorne’s Classic Story ‘Young Goodman Brown’.” The Gospel Coalition. The Gospel Coalition Inc, 12 Dec 2012. Web. 01 May 2014. “Themes, Motifs, and Symbols.” SparkNotes. SparkNotes LLC, 2014. Web. 29 April 2014. “Young Goodman Brown.” The Literature Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2014.

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