Young Goodman Brown

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No one escapes
Nathanial Hawthorne had a way of intertwining imagery and symbolism into one. He could put the two together to create an ominous mood throughout his story “Young Goodman Brown”. The focus on the use of symbolism and imagery helps imply the theme, that no one can escape sin, in the story. Hawthorne uses this theme to denounce puritan attitudes and hypocrisy.

The imagery gives off a sense of no hope for any kind of happy ending. A melancholy and sinister feel throughout the entire story. He had taken a dreary road, darken by all the gloomiest trees of the forest, which barely stood aside to let the narrow path creep through, and closed immediately behind. It was all as lonely as could be; and there is this peculiarity in such a solitude, that the traveler knows not who may be concealed by the innumerable trunks and the thick boughs overhead; so that with lonely footsteps he may yet be passing through an unseen multitude. (Hawthorne)

This is what sets the tone for the rest of the story. The images that Hawthorne writes in this passage show Goodman Brown’s character becoming a depressing figure. That is significant because with imagery that is depressing it sets Goodman Brown’s journey as more of an on purpose than a naive accident. This can also suggest that the temptation of sin is too powerful for Goodman Brown to resist. Goodman Brown met a second traveler, the imagery that Hawthorne writes of this fellow traveler is to inform the wickedness of this character. The character is not that greatly descripted, that does not mean he has no significant meaning in his person. “ But the only thing about him that could be fixed upon as remarkable as his staff, which bore a likeness of a great black snake, so curiously wrought that it might almost be seen to twist and wriggle itself like a living serpent”(Hawthorne). It gives off an evil wicked feel to the traveler. Without the description of the staff then it would be harder for symbolism to...
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