Young Goodman Brown

1150 Words5 Pages
In this extract from “Young Goodman Brown”, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses symbolism, imagery and point of view to depict Goodman Brown’s eventual journey from naivety in man’s purity of faith to recognition of man’s disposition to evil. It reveals Brown’s misplaced faith in man, who is deficient, instead of God. In the dialogue that ensues between the minister and Deacon Gookin, we learn of an impending meeting expecting participants hailing from “Falmouth and beyond... Indian powows” (Hawthorne 26). The geographical listing hints at the far-reaching influence of the devil. By including the Indians, Hawthorne subtly contrasts the inclusiveness of this heathen community versus the exclusivity of the Puritan community. This perhaps also…show more content…
It is as if to allude to the words of Jesus in the Bible, Matthew 7:3, Brown “looks at the speck of sawdust in his brother’s eye and pays no attention to the plank in his own eye” (1544). Is he not then, as much a hypocrite as he judged the men to be?

The elements of symbolism, imagery and point of view in the extract reveal the internal tension and turmoil building up in Brown. This encounter serves as a rising action in the plot. Brown started the journey confident of his faith but the encounters along the way caused him to vacillate and he realises, with “heavy sickness of his heart” (Hawthorne 26) that evil is resident in everyman.

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Works Cited

“Book of Matthew.” Life Application Study Bible: New International Version. Michigan. Tyndale House Publishers,1997. 1544. Print.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “Young Goodman Brown.” ELT107 Analyzing Prose: Short Fiction and Essays—Short Stories. Singapore: UniSIM, 2010. 21-30. Print.
Levy, Leo B. “The Problem of Faith in ‘Young Goodman Brown.’” Journal of English and German Philology. No 3, July 1975. Web. 22 Feb. 2011.
Khoo, Sim Eng. “ELT107 Analyzing Prose: Short Fiction and Essays—Seminar 5.” My UniSIM. UniSIM, 21 Feb. 2011. Web. 22 Feb. 2011.
“Study Unit 3.” ELT 107: Analyzing Prose: Short Fiction and Essays. Singapore: Unisim, 2011. SU3-18-22. Print.
Wargo, Vicky. “Examining the Characterization and Morality in Writings by Poe and
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