Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Young Goodman Brown Essay

Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Young Goodman Brown Essay

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“Things are not always what they seem”, this popular euphemism is used in towards all aspects of life and to the misfortune of many english students is especially used in reference to literature. An author’s intricate use of allegory and symbolism, transforms simple characters and objects into major themes and motifs that extend pass the page and ultimately comments on human nature. A prime example of this literary technique is Hawthorne’’s story “Young Goodman Brown”. Hawthorne’s character of Faith is not only the main character’s wife but symbol of his personal faith but serves as a comment on female purity in the puritan community as well.
The story begins at dusk in Salem where are young newly married man, Young Goodman Brown, regretfully bidding his innocent and pure wife Faith goodbye as he sets off for a nightly errand. He ventures in to the dark forest and is joined by a suspicious man "of grave and decent attire" for an evening of misdeeds. The suspicious man is later implied to be the devil, who attempts to persuade Brown into joining his hellish escapades.Which he constantly declines, trying to uphold is family name and being as religious as his faithful wife. Brown maintains his stance even after learning that his father and grandfather both sought the man’s assistance. However Brown says he finds that hard to believe because the members of his family are good Christians. The man says he is on friendly terms with all kinds of good Christians all over New England. Brown encounters many pious members of the village on the way to meet this sinister character, and is surprised that someone so good would be undertaking the same errand as him. Nonetheless he insists he can’t go on because of his wife Faith. He discovers a w...


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...bout Faith, his wife, but allegorically, the author is showing us that Brown has lost his faith in man because he gives up the world to the devil.As he yells “Faith! Faith! Look up to Heaven, and resist the Wicked One!" (CITE). Young Goodman Brown attempts not only to save his wife, but his attempt to save his inner faith and look for something blessed to cling to. Unable to do so, he becomes bitter and unable to see the good in anyone. Hawthorne’s story becomes an allegory as shows the changes in a man 's outlook when his world changes due to a loss of innocence.
A simple literary technique can take a simple story and transform it into a work of literature whose lessons extend into the real word. And Hawthorne’s masterful use of this literary device is demonstrated in the story Young Goodman Brown. Where the simple character of Faith becomes much more than that.

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