Allegory in Young Goodman Brown
Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "Young Goodman Brown" is an excellent example of an allegory. Allegories use events, characters or symbolism as a bizarre or abstract representation of ideas in the story, and throughout "Young Goodman Brown", Hawthorne uses a heavy amount of symbolism, as well as his characters and the events of the story line to develop a religious allegory. A large symbolic role is played by protagonist Goodman Brown's wife, Faith. Also, the main event in the short story, Brown's journey into the forest, holds several major symbolic roles such as the traveler's staff, and the thick mass of black clouds. This essay will be exploring how Hawthorne used symbolism to achieve an allegory within his short story.
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Brown sat there alone, knowing very well of the evil he was surrounded by in the heathen's forest. ""With heaven above and Faith below, I will yet stand firm against the devil!" cried Goodman Brown." (Hawthorne 5) shows the trust that Goodman Brown had in the Lord that he would conquer any evil that would come his way. However, this thought was soon to be diminished by a cloud that suddenly appeared overhead. "The blue sky was visible, except directly overhead, where this black mass of cloud, came a confused and doubtful sound of voices." (Hawthorne 5) The hope and faith he had just moments before was quickly destroyed by this black cloud, particularly once he heard his wife amongst the voices. "Then came a stronger swell of those familiar tones,
There was one voice of a young woman, uttering lamentations, yet with an uncertain sorrow," (Hawthorne 5) Brown cried out to his wife in desperation as he knew that she was being brought closer to the devil and his evil, but there was nothing he could do. "There was a scream, drowned immediately in a louder murmur of voices, fading into a far-off laughter, as the dark cloud swept away," (Hawthorne 6) This is the point in the story where Goodman Brown realizes that his Faith, in both the Lord and in his wife, that he held so dearly to his heart had left him. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "Young Goodman Brown", the characters, plot