Individuality And Symbolism In Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

Brooke Lawson
ENGL 2110_521
Nov 7 2016
Nathaniel Hawthorne 's "Young Goodman Brown" is a tale taken place during the Puritan-England period. The townspeople practice Christianity as their organized religion. By focusing his theme mainly on Christianity, Hawthorne emphasizes ideals of transcendentalism throughout by making the tale extremely ambiguous, meaning there is no true "black or white" answer to his work. Allegoric writing-styles involve a heavy use of ambiguous terms and strong symbolism to turn the entirety of the text into a lesson. The ideal that the traditional "truth" may not always be in sight is questioned throughout by using a limited point of view, the use of symbolism within the text leads to a greater feel of uncertainty
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Brown 's personal motives and lack of individuality for this quest will have a significant impact on his outlook, the events taken place on the journey, and the results that will lead to Brown 's personal downfall.
The point of view within the text is mostly limited through one character, Young Goodman Brown. There are often points within the reading where the view turns to an author-like telling, including all sections with ambiguous ideals and terms. The sudden changes in perception results in an allegoric type of reading, which leads each reader to pause to analyze what Hawthorne is trying to express through Brown 's journey. For example, my personal inference on Young Goodman Brown is that he is a strong symbol of self-righteousness, while his wife, Faith, symbolizes the faith and goodness in
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"Evil is the nature of mankind. Evil must be your only happiness." (394.) The Devil-like character reveals what a lack of individuality can do to a person, as said person shall be based upon hatred and evilness rather than forgiveness and love. The level of knowledge of knowing others sins is so powerful that it has the chance to destroy one 's soul. Hawthorne vividly draws a conclusion that the Devil 's claim of the nature of mankind being evil in this story by the ending. When Brown returns to the village, he is unforgiving of what possibly could have been only a dream, a fake reality. It is proved to be overwhelmingly difficult of Brown to ever see his "faith" in mankind ever again. Brown 's acceptance of this deal with the devil was the beginning of the end of Brown 's journey to self-righteousness. Once an individual lets evil in, it is nearly impossible to be freed from its

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