Loosing Faith in Young Goodman Brown
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, Young Goodman Brown is a story of sex, sin, and the Devil, all the entertaining things in life. Hawthorne uses many literary devices to impress strength in his work. Hawthorne uses these techniques to bring out the religious themes within the story.
One of the main literary devices would be imagery. One of the most important images found in the story pertains to Faith and reaching heaven. Goodman Brown says, "...I‘ll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven."(H-CAL 375). This follows traditional Puritan belief that if you have faith you will go to heaven. The uses of dark and light also help convey the religious theme of good and evil. Dark is used to symbolize evil, the woods is mainly where this is seen. Light is mostly seen in the beginning, before Goodman enters the forest. Before it all becomes dark and gray. Colors also played an important role. In the beginning Faith pink ribbons in her hair, which represent that she is young and happy. With white symbolizing purity and red representing passion, the pink ribbons was showing the balance between Faith’s passion and her religious purity. (Rhetoric 102L class discussion/lecture, January 18, 2001)
Repetition of religious jargon is scattered throughout the story. Words such as Faith, God, and Devil are used. There is also Puritan slang used such as Goody and Goodman. Many of these words are used to emphasize religious virtue. Goodman, while confronted with the devil, says that he and his family are upstanding people. The devil in turn tells him that his family members have come out to the woods before. This use of repetition shows that Goodman Brown is trying to keep his faith. Yet the devil still finds a way to get to him.
Names are also repeated throughout the...