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Young Good Man Brown

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Nathanial Hawthorn's allegorical short story "Young Goodman Brown" is full of symbolism. He uses symbolism to illuminate the transformation of Young Goodman Brown through out the story. Young Goodman Brown is a reflection of the Puritan faith as well as man's conflict between good and evil. Hawthorn is able to emphasize this theme through the use of symbolism in character names as well as in objects.

In the beginning of the story the reader is introduced to Young Goodman Brown's wife Faith. Faith symbolizes religious faith, and before Brown can be totally loyal to Faith, he must indulge in sin once more. As Brown travels further away from the physical Faith, Brown gets further away from his faith in the goodness of mankind. The text states that Brown thought of Faith as a "blessed angel on earth; and after this night I'll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven." Once in the forest when Brown met up with the devil, he explained that he was late because Faith held him back awhile. As Brown continued to journey deeper into the forest, he felt ashamed and guilty of what he was doing to Faith.

Another symbol in Hawthorn's Young Goodman Brown is of course Brown himself and his journey into the woods. Brown's journey into the dark woods is said to be parallel to depths of his soul. The gloomy trees and the dark path, which closed behind him as he continued on the path, symbolized what he was doing. Brown was traveling down the path leading to loneliness and despair. The trees that are closing immediately after he passes them symbolize the evil closing off his escape. Brown then realizes that his journey is in fact hopeless. The forest is related to the devil's power that continues to grow over Young Goodman Brown's soul. As Brown traveled deeper into the forest, a dark cloud covered the sky. The blackened cloud symbolizes Brown's soul, which by now is tormented by evil.

"While he gazed upward into the deep arch of the firmament and had lifted his hands to pray, a cloud, though no wind was stirring, hurried across the zenith and hid the brightening stars. The blue sky was still visible, except directly overhead, where this black mass of cloud was sweeping swiftly northward. Aloft in the air, as if from the depths of the cloud, came a confused and doubtful sound of voices." Goodman Brown, in a last attempt to resist sin and the devil, gazes at the heavens to pray, but is obscured by a cloud which seems to contain the voices of many sinners. Goodman Brown finally surrenders to darkness and evil when he hears Faith's voice among the voices of the damned radiating from the cloud. He exclaims, "My Faith is gone!"

Another Symbol that Hawthorn uses in Young Goodman Brown major symbol in Young Goodman Brown is the dark man that he meets in the forest. The dark man is said to represent Brown's dark side of his soul. The dark man informs



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