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Symbolism In Young Goodman Brown By Nathaniel Hawthrone

646 words - 3 pages

In the short story Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne, symbolism plays a vital role in the interpretation of the events of the story by the audience. In a work that is apparently never what it seems, drawing upon these symbols for clarity helps to provide the audience with additional depth to the deception that Goodman Brown feels. When going on his errand into the forest one night, Goodman Brown encounters the devil disguised as a man which is the beginning of his demonic encounters. The meeting symbolizes the start of his downward slope into the loss of faith of those around him and his own religious beliefs as well. He navigates the dark and chilling forest only to ultimately end up in the middle of it alone, which represents his journey through life after his revelation about the people in his community that night. His new found beliefs cause a projection of his own internal evil feelings upon his new wife faith. A woman who he once adored and had complete faith in just like her name, he now becomes very distant with and hardly acknowledges. His distance is due to a suspicion that she is connected to the devil, but in reality it is he who has submitted to his own internal desires to be evil. Through the use of symbols that are exemplified through the Devil’s walking staff, the forest, and the names of the characters, the story of Goodman Brown represents man’s internal and seemingly infinite struggle between the balance of good and evil and eventual fall to sin.
When Goodman Brown goes on a journey into the forest one night, he runs into a man in the road who greets him very welcomingly. The normal dressed man appears non-threatening, but turns out to be the Devil himself. He carries a walking stick with a carved serpent on it that is incredibly lifelike,...

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