Preview
Preview

Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown Essay

:: 1 Works Cited
Length: 1395 words (4 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown"

Nathaniel Hawthorne’s story “Young Goodman Brown” portrays the growth of Young Goodman Brown through vivid symbolic setting. “Young Goodman Brown” is an allegory in which the setting is very important to the theme of the story. Throughout the narration, detailed setting and emblematic characters surround Goodman Brown. Goodman Brown is an Everyman character, which could be any one of us, struggling with his Puritan heritage, more specifically his spiritual faith.

The setting is first introduced during a conversation between Goodman and his wife “Faith” which is symbolic of his struggle with his spiritual faith throughout the story. Standing in the doorway of his own home he turns to confront his wife, who encourages him to stay at home with her, the first expression in the story of his internal conflict with his “faith”. Walking away from his wife, he begins to question himself in several ways. Why is he leaving? What is he longing for? Where exactly is he going? ““Poor little Faith!” Thought he, for his heart smote him. “What a wretch am I to leave her on such an errand!”” (391)

Without knowing the exact answer to any of the questions he enters the woods, dark and dreary, which Hawthorne uses to express the sense of evil. To understand the significance of the setting you have to understand the background of the Puritan culture which Hawthorne doesn’t state but expects the reader to know. Puritans live their lives for God. They believe everyone and everything is evil and one must live his life so to not unleash this inborn sin. Throughout the story, Goodman struggles with his own image of faith. Just as any young adult may step back and question their initial upbringing, he too, questions his forefathers. He doesn’t want to become who they were, the common feeling among younger generations. Brown could be any one of us who as we mature begin to discover flaws in our families and acquaintances we knew not existed.

Continuing down his path in the woods he runs across a man “in grave and decent attire”. The word “grave” suggests the danger and seriousness of the journey. Soon the author persuades us that this man represents the devil in Goodman’s struggle with his beliefs. The man is willing to lead Goodman deep into the forest, or in other words, deep into sin. The man even addresses Brown telling him...


... middle of paper ...


... himself from the generations before; he cannot completely separate himself from his parent’s faith and culture without losing his own identity.

Hawthorne displays vivid setting throughout “Young Goodman Brown” to help him deal with the insecurities concerning not only his character but also his own forefathers and his own faith. The setting in “Young Goodman Brown” is critical to understanding the internal struggle for maturation of the main character. From “Faith” his wife, his journey through the dark and lonely yet demon- populated woods, supernatural happenings, Hawthorne takes his readers on an adventure filled with symbolic setting. To fully appreciate and understand “Young Goodman Brown” one must recognize with and pull out the expression of allegory Hawthorne uses to fulfill the curiosity in young maturing minds. Goodman Brown could be any of us, struggling with the inconsistencies in our own lives, and the unknown journeys we will venture to take while trying to form our own identities of self and mature into functioning adults in our society.

Works Cited

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. "Young Goodmam Brown", The Story and Its Writer, 4th ed. Ed. Ann Charters. Boston:


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Symbolism in Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown Essay - Symbolism in Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown      Nathaniel Hawthorne utilizes symbolism throughout his short story Young Goodman Brown to impact and clarify the theme of good people sometimes doing bad things. Hawthorne uses a variety of light and dark imagery, names, and people to illustrate irony and different translations. Young Goodman Brown is a story about a man who comes to terms with the reality that people are imperfect and flawed and then dies a bitter death from the enlightenment of his journey through the woods....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne Young Goodman Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1272 words
(3.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Symbolism in Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay - “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne contains much symbolism. The symbols take many forms from the setting to the characters. The symbols can be viewed as just part of the story line, but apon further thought they represent many different things. Faith, Brown’’s wife, is a symbol herself. When he says, ““My love and my Faith,”” he is using his wife as a symbol and is really referring to his love and faith in God. He goes on to say ““this one night I must tarry away from thee.”” He means that he must part from his faith in God to carry on with his journey....   [tags: Young Goodman Brown Nathaniel Hawthorne] 700 words
(2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown - Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown      In Young Goodman Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne tells the tale of a man and his discovery of evil. Hawthorne’s primary concern is with evil and how it affects Young Goodman Brown. Through the use of tone and setting, Hawthorne portrays the nature of evil and the psychological effects it can have on man. He shows how discovering the existence of evil brings Brown to view the world in a cynical way. Brown learns the nature of evil and, therefore, feels surrounded by its presence constantly....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne Young Brown Essays] 1846 words
(5.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown Essay - Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" Nathaniel Hawthorne’s story “Young Goodman Brown” portrays the growth of Young Goodman Brown through vivid symbolic setting. “Young Goodman Brown” is an allegory in which the setting is very important to the theme of the story. Throughout the narration, detailed setting and emblematic characters surround Goodman Brown. Goodman Brown is an Everyman character, which could be any one of us, struggling with his Puritan heritage, more specifically his spiritual faith....   [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]
:: 1 Works Cited
1395 words
(4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Symbolism in Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown Essay - 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....   [tags: Young Goodman Brown, 2014]
:: 1 Works Cited
558 words
(1.6 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown's Apocalypse Essay - Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown's Apocalypse         Most criticism and reflection of Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown centers on a good versus evil theme. Critics also debate interpretations of the main character's consciousness; is Brown awake or dreaming.  What is certain is that he lives and dies in pain because his belief in his righteousness isolates him from his community.  It is also certain that Hawthorne's interpretation of Brown's "mid-life crisis" has ambiguity and leaves a reader with many different feelings about what and why certain things have happened.  Hawthorne's use of symbolism in his allegorical tale Young Goodman Brown causes th...   [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]
:: 7 Works Cited
1020 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Internal Conflicts of Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay - The Internal Conflicts of Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne In Young Goodman Brown the theme is not only centered on religious hypocrisy (falsely claiming to have certain religious morals) but also on the internal conflicts of Young Good Man Brown. A basic rundown of the story is that one fateful evening Young Good Man Brown decides to attend a meeting of the black Sabbath. On the way there he come across various people who are also on there way there .These include the devil, Goody Cloys (his catechism teacher), deacon Gookin and the local minister....   [tags: Hawthorne Young Goodman Brown] 1433 words
(4.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay - Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne "Young Goodman Brown", by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a story that is thick with allegory. "Young Goodman Brown" is a moral story, which is told through the perversion of a religious leader. In "Young Goodman Brown", Goodman Brown is a Puritan minister who lets his excessive pride in himself interfere with his relations with the community after he meets with the devil, and causes him to live the life of an exile in his own community. "Young Goodman Brown" begins when Faith, Brown's wife, asks him not to go on an "errand"....   [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]
:: 5 Works Cited
2423 words
(6.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Good and Evil in Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay - Good and Evil in Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne In “Young Goodman Brown,” there is a fight between good and evil with one main character being torn between the two sides and every other character seemingly on one side or the other through the reader’s view, although many characters do deceive Goodman Brown about whether they are good or evil. This fight between the two sides and the deception that causes confusion for Goodman Brown is the source of tension throughout the entire story....   [tags: Young Goodman Brown Hawthorne Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
856 words
(2.4 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown Essay - Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown      Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” captivates the reader through a glimpse of the Puritan church. The story also shows the struggle of good versus evil in the main character Goodman Brown. The role of the Puritan church is crucial in shaping Goodman Brown’s personality and helping the reader understand why he was reluctant to continue his journey.      “Puritanism, movement arising within the Church of England in the latter part of the 16th century that sought to purify or reform, that church and establish a middle course between Roman Catholicism and the ideas of the Protestant reformers” (Puritanism 1)....   [tags: Young Goodman Brown YGB]
:: 6 Works Cited
3249 words
(9.3 pages)
Research Papers [preview]