The Allegory Of Young Goodman Essay

891 words - 4 pages


In Hawthorne's 'Young Goodman Brown,'; the characters and settings are used to show allegory. The characters and setting are used in metaphor to represent something else. The whole story of 'Young Goodman Brown,'; represents the journey of everyman. It's path that everyone follows, or so Hawthorne seems to believe.
     The main character, Young Goodman Brown represents the sense of everyone. His last name, Brown, is a common name and therefore could be taken to mean everyone because it is so common. Young could mean someone who is innocent and inexperienced. He is newly married and starting his new life or journey down that path we call fate. Goodman represents just that, a good man.
     Faith, Goodman Brown's wife, represents just that, faith. She stands for Brown's faith in god or a greater power than himself. 'There was a scream, drowned immediately in a louder murmur of voices, fading into far-off laughter, as the dark cloud swept away, leaving the clear and silent sky above goodman Brown. But something fluttered down through the air, and caught on the branch of a tree. The young man seized it and beheld a pink ribbon. 'My Faith is gone!' cried he, after one stupefied moment. 'There is no good on earth; and sin so but a name. Come devil! for to thee is this world given.' '; (Hawthorne 196) The ribbon Brown seized from the branch was one of the things Hawthorne had used to describe Faith in the beginning of the story. Brown apparently lost Faith when he lost his faith in god represented by the ribbon falling through the air.
     The traveler represents the devil. 'But the only thing about him, that could be fixed upon as remarkable was his staff, which bore the likeness of a great black snake, so curiously wrought, that it might almost be seen to twist and wriggle itself, like a living serpent. This of course, must have been an ocular deception, assisted by the uncertain light.'; (Hawthorne 192) The devil is like a serpent, or is represented as a serpent in the story of Genesis. The serpent is sneaky and deceiving. ' 'Friend,' said the other, exchanging his slow pace for a full stop, 'having kept covenant by meeting thee here, it is my purpose now to return whence I came. I have scruples, touching the matter thou wot'st of.' 'Sayest thou so?' replied he of the serpent, smiling apart. 'Let us walk on, nevertheless, reasoning as we go, and if I convince thee not, thou shalt turn back. We are little way in the forest, yet.' 'Too far, too far!' exclaimed the goodman,...

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