Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Young Goodman Brown

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Many authors who write of religious, philosophical, or moral issues frequently use symbolism and allegory to spark the reader’s interest. This style of writing builds on the emotions of the reader. It creates a visual image making the story real and believable.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” these literary devices are used to bring emphasis to Brown’s struggle with his moral and spiritual beliefs. Goodman Brown is challenged with an important decision to keep his faith or follow the temptation of evil. Allegory and symbolism of the pink ribbons, Faith, the staff, and the woods are used by Hawthorne to create an allusion that the town’s people could not be corrupted by evil.

The story “Young Goodman Brown,” in its entirety is an allegory, a literary device used to teach a religious lesson. The reader is lead to wonder if the story’s events truly took place or if it was simply a bad dream. The story leaves readers wondering why Goodman Brown feels compelled to journey into the forest. “Young Goodman Brown” begins with Faith’s plea for Brown to not leave her on that night. He chooses to go out into the woods and ends up taking a “walk with the devil.” On his journey, Brown struggles with his decision and at times wants to turn back. His conscious tugs at him, much like the devil tempts individuals to do things that are wrong and evil. Brown seems to be concerned with what others will think if they see him in the woods. When “Goodman Brown recognized
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