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Symbolism in Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown Essay

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In 1835, Nathaniel Hawthorne published the tale of “Young Goodman Brown,” a tale that illustrates many configurations of symbolism used to leave the reader planting the pieces together through his characteristics of detail and imagery. Hawthorne’s prime analogy expressed throughout this tale is the loss of vulnerability and pureness when reaching maturity.

The setting of Young Goodman Brown is in Salem, where the Salem witch craft trials were held in the 1600’s. This is the first symbol Hawthorne uses throughout the story as a test of who is innocent at this present time and who is not just as they did during the witch trials. Brown set off to the forest for an unknown ceremony leaving his new wife Faith behind. The name Faith symbolizes his personal faith in his own life and in his spirituality. Faith represents youth and innocence that was carried in his childhood. As we get further into detail the pink ribbons she wore in her hair were of some significance to the tale being conveyed. The pink ribbons exemplify the mix between red and white: red meaning evil and white innoce...


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