Young Goodman Brown Analysis Essay

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Cummings 1Victoria CummingsProfessor Chad StewartEnglish 1102January 28, 2016Young Goodman Brown Story AnalysisThe objective of this analysis is to show how the religious movement, Puritanism, shapedthe central idea in the short story, “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthrone.According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Nathaniel Hawthrone was “an American novelist andshort-story writer who was a master of the allegorical and symbolic tale. . .. He was a native ofSalem, Massachusetts and his ancestors were staunch defenders of Puritan orthodoxy and oneserved as a judge during the Salem witchcraft trials.”My analysis of this work of Hawthorne’s focuses on the usage of imagery to symbolize ayoung man’s realization…show more content…
The traveler’s identitybecomes known to the reader by the description of his cane that he carries, “… which bore thelikeness of a great black snake, so curiously wrought that it might almost be seen to twist andwriggle itself like a living serpent.” (1034) Many would recall the serpent from the first book inthe Bible, Genesis. The serpent is a symbol of chaos and evil power. The serpent that convincedEve to eat from the forbidden tree; resulting in man’s fall from grace. Here too in our story,similar to Eve, Young Goodman Brown is confused which results in his travelling down thewrong path resulting in a fall from the grace of God.Nevertheless, Goodman Brown, states that he wants to return to the village for his wife,Faith’s sake. Shortly the two travelers come upon an old woman hobbling through the woods.She is a member of the village known to be a pious and respected woman, Goody Cloyse.Shamed to be seen with the man, Goodman Brown hides from her. The man taps Goody Cloyseon the shoulder and is identified by her as the devil and she reveals herself to be a witch, on herway to the devil’s evil forest ceremony. Despite this revelation, Goodman Brown tells the manthat he still intends to turn back, for his wife, Faith’s sake. The man says that Goodman Brownshould rest. Before disappearing, he gives Goodman Brown his staff, telling him that he can useit for transport to the ceremony if he changes his mind.Shortly Goodman Brown hears voices which he recognizes as the church minister andDeacon Gookin, both on their way to the ceremony. This alarms Goodman Brown. He begins toquestion all he knows, wondering if everyone has gone to the devil. He decides to stay true toGod if only for his wife’s sake. But his faith is tested as all of our faiths must be tested; he hearsFaith’s voice coming from the ceremony. He screams her name, and a pink ribbon from her capflutters down from the
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