This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

"Young Goodman Brown" Analysis

1140 words - 5 pages

Hawthorne’s story, “Young Goodman Brown,” appears to be a story about original sin with a lot of symbolism tied in to make it an allegory. An allegory is a story that can be interpreted in different ways to find the hidden meaning behind the symbolism in the story. The three things focused on throughout the short story is Faith, the forest that Goodman Brown takes his journey through, and the staff, which the old man who leads Goodman Brown on his way carries. The short story, “Young Goodman Brown,” uses several symbols such as: Faith, the forest, and the staff to contribute significantly to the allegory.
Goodman Brown’s wife, Faith, not only represents Goodman Brown’s wife but also his religious faith. This dual purpose of Faith only makes it harder for Goodman Brown to enter the forest and leave Faith behind (Haddock). On his way into the forest, Goodman Brown is unsure of his decision. To demonstrate this is when he states to himself, “What a wretch am I to leave her on such an errand! She talks of dreams, too. Methought as she spoke there was trouble in her face, as if a dream had warned her what work is to be done tonight. But no, no; ‘t would kill her to think it. Well, she’s a blessed angel on earth; and after this one night I’ll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven.” (Young Goodman Brown). When Goodman Brown meets up with his so called leader in the forest he says, “Faith kept me back awhile…” (Young Goodman Brown). This quote shows the reader that Goodman couldn’t decide between the devil and faith. During the journey, he experiences many moments of uncertainty and sinfulness and wants to turn back, it was at these times, Faith was more important to him than the traveler (Haddock).
In addition to Faith representing Goodman Brown’s religious faith on his journey, her pink ribbons she wears in her hair represent purity in religious faith. Hawthorne uses the color pink because it is associated with innocence and gaiety (Themes, Motifs, and Symbols). With religious faith comes purity. So with Goodman Brown’s wife, Faith, wearing these symbolic ribbons in her hair, they act as a sign to Goodman and to the reader that she is the goodness and incorruptibility within him. For example, Goodman Brown thought to himself as he left Faith behind, “About to turn the corner by the meeting-house, he looked back and saw the head of Faith still peeping after him with a melancholy hair in spite of the pink ribbons.” (Young Goodman Brown). Then, later in the story, Hawthorne reintroduces the ribbons when Goodman Brown is in the forest, struggling with his doubts about the goodness in the people he knows (Themes, Motifs, and Symbols). Goodman Brown questions if anyone he has always known even has the true virtues and morals he thought they did. So when the pink ribbon flutters down from the sky, Goodman Brown perceives it as a sign that Faith has definitely fallen into the realm of the devil (Themes, Motifs, and Symbols). In other words, Faith has...

Find Another Essay On "Young Goodman Brown" Analysis

Historical biographical analysis of "Young Goodman Brown"

1165 words - 5 pages )Hawthorne seems to struggle with the question of his own morality in "YoungGoodman Brown." While the time and culture of the past was a big influence on hiscareer because of what he learned of his ancestors, the events of his own time only helpedto further his perspective. It is obvious after reading "young Goodman Brown" that it isexposing the hypocrisy of the early Puritan colonists. The people Goodman meets on thepath in the forest recognize

Young Goodman Brown Essay

1031 words - 4 pages The End of Innocence The philosopher Hooper once stated, ?Innocence is a flower, which withers when touched, but blooms not again, though watered with tears?(Mackey). Once innocence is lost to sin, there is no way to recover it. Nathaniel Hawthorne?s character, Young Goodman Brown, is one such example. After making a journey down the dark path of evil, Goodman Brown?s innocence and beliefs are lost forever. Throughout the short story ?Young

Young Goodman Brown

1798 words - 7 pages Young Goodman Brown Goodman Brown's actions in the story, Young Goodman Brown, are a key element to this story's theme. The author uses Goodman Brown's movement in and out of the forest, as a method of symbolizing the theme of a symbolic journey into the depths of consciousness. As the hours of the night pass, Goodman Brown travels farther into the forest, and deeper into the depths of consciousness. This theme is present in many passages

Young Goodman Brown

1044 words - 4 pages The main theme of the Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, “ Young Goodman Brown,” is the struggle between Goodman Brown’s faith, power to resist his own evil impulses and his own doubts within him. It is a story of Young Goodman Brown’s personal conflict over his inner desires and its greater meaning conflict between good and evil in the world. The characteristics of Young Goodman Brown are similar to the life of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Nathaniel Hawthorne had

Young Goodman Brown

595 words - 2 pages "Young Goodman Brown", is the struggle between Goodman Brown's faith power to resist his own evil impulses and his own doubts within him. The story is a personal conflict over his internal desires and its greater meaning conflict between good and evil. The characteristics of Young Goodman Brown are similar to the life of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Nathaniel Hawthorne had his own doubts about his own Puritan life and beliefs. The story of "Young

Young Goodman Brown

803 words - 4 pages In the story “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne there is symbolism all throughout the story. Symbolism can be defined as the use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities. Hawthorne uses symbolism to describe a young man who reluctantly leaves his world of innocence and realizes that evil and darkness is in his world. One of the earliest uses of symbolism is Faith and her pink ribbons. Faith is Goodman Browns wife. The name faith

Young Goodman Brown - 927 words

927 words - 4 pages Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" we see such ambiguity. Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts and was all too familiar with its strict puritan past. In "Young Goodman Brown" he wanted to express the great amounts of pressure that is put upon a puritan man who tries to live as the church dictates. Living such a restricted life can cause the mind to wander and often become curious about what lies beyond the parameters of such a

Young Goodman Brown - 831 words

831 words - 3 pages Young Goodman Brown After reading Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown," I was appalled. I developed an immediate distaste for the story. One might question then, why did I choose it to critically analyze? And my answer to that is simply because I kept wondering why it had such an effect on me. Furthermore, I was motivated to find out what part of Hawthorne's writing got to me so. Through evaluating the story's strengths and weaknesses, I

Young Goodman Brown - 1031 words

1031 words - 4 pages 1 Samantha Hayward 201455961 ENGL 1080 Prof. John Hoskins October 9th, 2014 " The Transformation of Young Goodman Brown " Young Goodman Brown, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a story of a man who undergoes a transformation that changes his outlook on his beliefs, personal relationships and his childhood innocence. This is a man who goes against his own beliefs only to discover that everything he has known, is in fact a lie. It is never revealed if

Young Goodman Brown

1025 words - 4 pages Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “”Young Goodman Brown” is an allegorical piece that cautions against the potential of human evil. Hawthorne believed the most evil thing a person could do was deliberately harden his heart, to disregard others’ emotions entirely and therefore their humanity. In the story, young goodman Brown commits this unpardonable sin. He through on many separate occasions decided to continue a wicked journey, when it did not end exactly

Young Goodman Brown - 1505 words

1505 words - 7 pages History has known many a great author, but none more intriguing than Nathaniel Hawthorne. Hawthorne’s ability to weave stories through the use of complex language and early puritan society narratives has long been a topic of study amongst scholars and young adults, alike. “Young Goodman Brown” explores the idea of good vs. evil and draws many parallels to the life of Nathaniel Hawthorne. It is often debated whether man is born innately good

Similar Essays

Young Goodman Brown Analysis

964 words - 4 pages Untitled Adrian Clynes Young Goodman Brown Relying on others The story `'Young Goodman Brown'', written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, talks about Goodman Brown coming face to face with evil and obliged to face the devil himself. The story illustrates a symbolic portrayal of the attraction of evil. Many characters support Goodman Brown and is a fight that he must do alone. He lives with his wife Faith and he is dependent on

Analysis Of Setting In Young Goodman Brown

875 words - 4 pages An analysis of the setting in Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" In the story of "Young Goodman Brown" setting plays an important role. It provides symbolism to certain events and provokes emotions amongst the characters, especially those of Goodman Brown. The story of "Young Goodman Brown" is that of a man on an adventure to feed his curiosity and to visit the dark side of his Puritan town. Once he arrives at the destination of his

Analysis Of Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

1529 words - 6 pages Analysis of Young Goodman Brown   "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathanial Hawthorne is a short story that is very interesting, as well as entertaining. This essay will first provide a brief summary of the story, followed by an analysis of the importance of symbolism. The nature of evil will then be discussed as it relates to the control of the mind of a once naive and innocent goodman Brown. The climax of the story will be analyzed and

Formal Analysis Of Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown

859 words - 3 pages A Formal Analysis of Young Goodman Brown        Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" is an interesting short story that creatively tells two stories at once.  One story is of a man leaving his wife one night and venturing into the woods, and the other is of his struggle with his religious faith.  In reading this story, it is beneficial for one to look at it from a formalistic point of view