Symbolism In Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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‘Young Goodman Brown’ by Nathaniel Hawthorn explores the significance of the cultural society. Nathaniel Hawthorn wanted to distance himself from idea of Puritanism and created his own philosophy. Salem is a common topic for Hawthorns’ works; in Young Goodman Brown leaves his wife Faith to go on a spiritual journey towards self-scrutiny. Faith does not wish for him to leave but he tells her to stay and say her prayers. Brown is left feeling guilty and doubtful, but ventures on into the forest. The forest is in reference to the devil’s territory in the Puritan literature. Also believing that if the devil joins one on the journey later it might lead he/she in the wrong direction. Brown meets an old man (devil maybe) with similar features to …show more content…
In the beginning of the play Brown is put off on his meeting with the devil because Faith kept him back. Later when he recognizes that his has sinned he cries out his Faith is gone. The dark woods are where most of the story takes place. Moreover, the main sense of allegory is being an image of Brown’s dark mind. Symbolism is sufficient throughout the story and Hawthorne’s other works. One evident symbol would be Faith’s pink hair ribbon which is a representation innocence. Another common symbol would be the devils advocate which corrupts the views of everyone Brown knows. Hawthorn uses foreshadowing to develop suspense for the ultimate climax. When Brown leaves his wife to deal with the devil, Brown states he will cling to faiths skirts and follow her to Heaven. This is brought to mind when he learns of Faith falling from the sky instead of actually falling for her and going back when he was supposed to. More than that, the irony behind this shows the type of relation Hawthorn composes through out the …show more content…
He states “Is that any reason why I should quit my dear Faith, and go after her?” Here Hawthorn uses symbolism to try a draw Brown away from the devil. Brown stands alone and looks up to Heaven to pray, but his view is blocked by what seems to be a black cloud that holds the sounds of sinners. The author wants to demonstrate the hazard of letting those in the world, even loved ones to blind the ideal goal which is Heaven. Beyond this point, he calls out to Faith three times to come to his rescue. It is not until he sees the pink ribbon fall down from the sky that catches onto a tree branch crying out “My Faith is gone!”. To build up actual evidence of Faith’s absence, Hawthorn describes that Brown “seized”and “beheld” the fateful ribbon of Faiths. Faith is symbolic of Brown’s faith, which he continuously loses as he doubts more and more the existence of any goodness in man. However, what actually happened in the forest must remain, as Hawthorne chose to put it, a question. What happens once Goodman Brown surfaces from the forest is clear. On the physical level we see a man who began to doubt, with some reason, the good in all men until he concluded that “evil is a nature of mankind”, which were the words uttered by the devil. This primarily is what represents the dark side of Brown’s

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