Young Goodman Brown

570 Words3 Pages
Young Goodman Brown In the short story “Young Goodman Brown”, the author, Nathaniel Hawthorn used many literary techniques such as allusions, imagery, foreshadowing, and antithesis. But Young Goodman Brown is known for its evident symbolism throughout the story. Hawthorn recreates the world renowned of innocence, temptation, guilt, and sin. The story we all know not as Young Goodman Brown, but the story of Adam and Eve. The author begins his prose with the symbol of the time of day; sunset which represents an ambiguous time of day and represents the end of something abstract. Why would someone begin their journey at the end of the day? Hawthorn also dashes in more irony and symbolism by having the setting of the prose in a Salem village, a village where the Salem Witch Trials set forth and on all hallows eve, a place and time where such sorrow and hatred are exhibited. Goodman Brown's wife, Faith, symbolizes Brown's spiritual faith and the pink ribbon she wears in her hair demonstrates her purity and innocence. Faith is also a symbol of Eve, curious and corrupted by evil because of that fact. Goodman Brown, indeed represents Adam, a man who appears to represent human beings confronted with temptation. As he crosses the threshold, he enters a dark forest of sin, so to speak, to satisfy his curiosity about the happenings there and perhaps even to take part in them. The forest symbolizes confusion, cross roads, self discovery, and the Garden Of Eden. The man who meets Brown in the forest appears to represent the devil; his staff is a symbol of the devil as a serpent. Thus we regress back to the serpent that met Adam and Eve. It was, of course, a tree—the Tree of Knowledge—that tempted Adam. Goodman Brown is tempted by the whole forest. Like Adam, he suffers a great fall from innocence and turns his back on faith literally and symbolically. As he and the
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