Allegory And Symbolism In Young Goodman Brown

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A mysterious story of good versus evil can be found in Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown”. Allegory and symbolism are the major literary devices used and the story is full of hidden meanings. The reader must then decode them in order to fully understand the story. I feel that writers use allegory and symbolism in subjects such as moral, philosophical, and religious issues because it is a creative, easy way to allow the reader to understand the meaning, without making a blatant statement. The whole story of “Young Goodman Brown”, is centered on religious meanings and displays the changes in his faith from being strong, to doubt and internal turmoil, and then changes to cynicism. In first part of the story, the symbol of Goodman Brown’s faith is personified through his wife, Faith. The story states “And Faith, as the wife was aptly named, thrust her own pretty head into the street, letting the wind play with the pink ribbons in her cap.” The pink ribbons represented childlikeness and was a symbol of Brown’s childlike faith and purity. He had hope that although he was about to embark on a sinister journey into the woods, his religious faith would keep him grounded and bring him home. This is demonstrated through the passage “….and after this one night, I’ll cling to her skirts and follow her…show more content…
The woods evoked fear and the unknown. He met the devil on the path and he told Goodman Brown that he was late. The response from Brown of “Faith kept me back awhile”, depicted Brown’s own personal faith and uneasiness with the journey he was taking. Goodman Brown soon realized that the upstanding Christian people that he was familiar with in New England, were actually acquaintances with the devil. The serpent’s staff in this section was a symbol of evil which was handed to Brown by the devil. This could mean that he was taking ahold of evil and proceeding down its path of
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