Young Goodman Brown Symbolism

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Young Goodman Brown symbolism
"Young Goodman Brown" is a short story published by American Romanticism writer Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1835. The story takes place in Salem, Massachusetts around the early 1690’s ("Hawthorne, Nathaniel." 1). He tries to addresses the Calvinist or Puritan belief which humanity exists of people are in a state of depravity ("Hawthorne, Nathaniel." 1). Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts ("Hawthorne, Nathaniel." 1). His grandfather, John Hathorne, was famous because he was one of the three judges during the Salem Witch Trials ("Hawthorne, Nathaniel." 1). When Nathaniel Hawthorne was around twenty, he wanted to distinguish from his family, so he added the “w” to his own name. ("The 'W ' in Hawthorne
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After Brown leaves the house, he goes to the forest. Forest has a “dreary road”, “gloomiest tree”, “narrow path” (Hawthorne 1) which symbolizes the evil and sin. However, the “traveler knows not who may be concealed” (Hawthorne 1), Goodman Brown has to search the forest. Goodman Brown even said “what if the devil himself should be at my very elbow!” (Hawthorne 2). Since the path of forest is also darkness, “My father never went into the woods on such an errand, nor his father before him” (Hawthorne 2), he is questioning his own religion. He also questions his beliefs in society in general while many men are dueling with the devil; for instance, the senator and mayor “are firm supporters of my interest” (Hawthorne 3). It shows many people know the devil very well. He tries to pray to keep his faith, “faint and overburdened with the heavy sickness of his heart” (Hawthorne 5). Nevertheless, he “had lifted his hands to pray, a cloud” (Hawthorne 6) has block the sky, and he cannot pray which can cause him to loss his faith quickly.
Finally, the old man is final example of the symbolism. He is the future of Goodman Brown, he “very image of my old gossip, Goodman Brown, the grandfather of the silly fellow” (Hawthorne 4), good dame has misplaced the old man’s face to Brown’s grandfather. The old man is worldly and intelligence. He persuades Goodman Brown not to leave because he is also a devil, which entices Brown to stay. The old man also has a staff. The staff is “twist and wriggle itself like a living serpent” (Hawthorne 2). It can also represent the demon of the devil that fascinates

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