Allegory is a type of extended metaphor, in which objects, people, and events in a narrative, are equal with the implications that extend beyond the story itself.
Critical response and impact 4 References 5 External links 6 Plot summary The story begins at dusk in Salem Village, Massachusetts as young Goodman Brown leaves Faith, his wife of three months, for some unknown errand in the forest. Faith pleads with her husband to stay with her, but he insists that the journey must be completed that night.
In the forest he meets an older man, dressed in a similar manner and bearing a physical resemblance to himself.
The man carries a black serpent -shaped staff. The two encounter Goody Cloyse, an older woman, whom Young Goodman had known as a boy and who had taught him catechismin the woods. She complains about the need to walk and, evidently friendly with the stranger, accepts his snake staff and flies away to her destination.
Other townspeople inhabit the woods that night, traveling in the same direction as Goodman Brown. When he hears his wife's voice in the trees, he calls out but is not answered. He then seems to fly through the forest, using a maple staff the stranger fashioned for him, arriving at a clearing at midnight to find all the townspeople assembled.
At the ceremony which may be a witches' sabbath carried out at a flame-lit rocky altar, the newest acolytes are brought forth — Goodman Brown and Faith. They are the only two of the townspeople not yet initiated. Goodman Brown calls to heaven to resist and instantly the scene vanishes.
Arriving back at his home in Salem the next morning, Goodman Brown is uncertain whether the previous night's events were real or a dream, but he is deeply shaken, and his belief he lives in a Christian community is distorted.
He loses his faith in his wife, along with all of humanity. He lives his life an embittered and suspicious cynic, wary of everyone around him. To convey the setting, he used literary techniques such as specific diction, or colloquial expressions.
Language of the period is used to enhance the setting. Hawthorne gives the characters specific names that depict abstract pure and wholesome beliefs, such as "Young Goodman Brown" and "Faith".
The characters' names ultimately serve as a paradox in the conclusion of the story. The inclusion of this technique was to provide a definite contrast and irony. Hawthorne aims to critique the ideals of Puritan society and express his disdain for it, thus illustrating the difference between the appearance of those in society and their true identities.
The first part shows Goodman Brown at his home in his village integrated in his society. The third part shows his return to society and to his home, yet he is so profoundly changed that in rejecting the greeting of his wife Faith, Hawthorne shows Goodman Brown has lost faith and rejected the tenets of his Puritan world during the course of the night.
Believing himself to be of the elect, Goodman Brown falls into self-doubt after three months of marriage which to him represents sin and depravity as opposed to salvation.
His journey to the forest is symbolic of Christian "self-exploration" in which doubt immediately supplants faith. At the end of the forest experience he loses his wife Faith, his faith in salvation, and his faith in human goodness. Years later he wrote, "These stories were published However, there have been many other interpretations of the text including those who believe Hawthorne sympathizes with Puritan beliefs.
Author Harold Bloom comments on the variety of explanations; Stephen King has referred to the story as "one of the ten best stories written by an American".
He calls it his favorite story by Hawthorne and cites it as an inspiration for his O. A History of American Literature. Hawthorne and the Historical Romance of New England.
Princeton University Press,p. Chelsea House Publishing, The Broadview Anthology of Short Fiction. Salem Is My Dwelling Place: A Life of Nathaniel Hawthorne.
University of Iowa Press, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Before Discussing Symbolism in "Young Goodman Brown" The time period which Hawthorne wrote in was known as the Romantic Period.
Characteristics of the American Romantic period include a fascination with the supernatural, an impulse toward reform, the celebration of the individual, a reverence for nature, and the idealization of women (for a more in depth look at American Romanticism, follow.
Other essays and articles in the Literature Archives related to this topic include: Nathaniel Hawthorne: An Overview of the Author and Thematic Analysis of Works • Full Summary and Analysis of “The Minister’s Black Veil” by Nathaniel Hawthorne • Analysis and Plot Summary of “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne • Full Plot Summary and Analysis of “The Birthmark” by.
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Young Goodman Brown by: Nathaniel Hawthorne. For all its excitement as a fantasy adventure story, “Young Goodman Brown” also embodies issues central to our life in the world and in the church.
For purposes of analysis, the following discussion guide arranges the interpretation of the story into five questions. Feb 03, · In "Young Goodman Brown," Nathaniel Hawthorne utilizes playful irony, evil symbolism, allusion with the setting, and unethical spirituality to portray an overall allegory and motif for all the good people being corrupt and evil.
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