Young Goodman Brown

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Kevin McNeal
English 1302
Dr. Wesson-Martin
February 22, 2012
Dancing with the Devil
“Young Goodman Brown” is a short story written by Nathaniel Hawthorne about a young man who has to endure the experience of temptations of evil and dance with the devil. Goodman Brown is a young adult who has influences all around him swaying him towards evil that he felt were reliable role models. Hawthorne uses literary devices to display many different meanings in this story. In the story, the most common devices are imagery and symbolism. The imagery used is to help the reader understand the symbolism he is portraying. He uses these devices to develop a theme to the story and provide different aspects of good and evil. Many people now a days fall under the temptation of sin, even Christians. Having faith with God is commonly seen as a good relationship to have and gives you a positive outlook on life, but after losing that faith, your world darkens and not everything seems as bright as it did. Hawthorne’s use of symbolism and imagery helps to develop the theme of Christians losing faith through temptation and peer pressure as Goodman Brown does.

Hawthorne uses symbolism throughout the whole story to imply influences of evil around Goodman Brown. The young man decides to take a journey one night because he feels compelled to. His wife Faith begged him not to go, but to stay there with her and hold off the journey until the morning. Hawthorne uses his wife’s name as Faith not by accident; she symbolizes his Faith in God and the innocence left in Goodman Brown. Faith has on her person pink ribbons; these ribbons represent the innocence in Faith because the color pink is known as innocence. Brown does not agree to his wife’s wishes and departs on his journey right around sunset. Brown must leave Faith behind while he goes on his adventure, by that Hawthorne means he not only leaves his wife behind, but also his spiritual faith. He travels through the forest which in...
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