"Young Goodman Brown" Analysis

876 Words4 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…show more content…
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 shed this sign of her purity and innocence (Themes, Motifs, and Symbols).
At the same time, Goodman’s companion, who exhibits devilish qualities with his black-snaked staff, will not give up until the young Goodman Brown completes his journey into the woods (Themes, Motifs, and Symbols). Each time that Goodman Brown doubts his beliefs; his companion offers him a black staff to help him along the way (Themes, Motifs, and Symbols). In fact, it is the staff that keeps Goodman Brown going. It’s as if the staff provokes evil thoughts that are too powerful to be overcome by the pure thoughts of

More about "Young Goodman Brown" Analysis

Get Access