Symbolism And Allegory In Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

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Symbolism and allegory are two literary elements that are frequently used in many literary works. Symbolism, an element that uses images and indirect impression to represent ideas, emotions, and state of mind is compared to allegory, a representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning in the form of a narrative or concrete material. These elements are commonly used in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown.” Hawthorne’s story provides an example of allegory in which he uses figures and characters in the story as symbols to better support his allegorical tones in which he uses complete symbolism. In “Young Goodman Brown”, Hawthorne uses his characters as symbols throughout the story. One of the major symbolic roles in this story is the role of Goodman Brown and his wife Faith. The names of the characters in “Young Goodman Brown” represent and are symbolic of their personalities. Hawthorne expresses many ways in which the names of the characters relate to their symbolic meaning. In the story, Goodman Brown …show more content…
Hawthorne’s story is an example of an allegory because it is a physical story that has abstract meaning. In the story, Brown relates his wife and his loss in faith in man, “My Faith is gone!’ cried he, after one stupefied moment. ‘There is no good on earth; and sin is a name. Come, devil! for to thee is this world given” (189). This is an example of allegory because Brown referring to his wife, but the quote shows that his faith is lost in man because he has given the world up to the devil. Brown also quotes, “Faith kept me back awhile,” in which again he is referring to his wife Faith, but in allegorical terms, Brown is shown as a good man with a good heart and his faith spiritually kept him from sinning (185). As there are many more allegorical examples throughout the story, these examples show how Hawthorne incorporated symbolic meaning by using

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