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Symbolism in Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne - Book Report/Review Example

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The paper analyzes the symbolism which is used to depict Goodman’s experience in and out of the forest enhancing the understanding of the concept of good and evil. The story of Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a piece of work that depicts the aspects of good and evil. …
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Symbolism in Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne
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Download file to see previous pages The story begins with an ironic situation where Goodman leaves his three months’ old married wife for something not known deep in the forest. He is very persuasive despite his wife’s plea that he should not go. This aspect is symbolic of the drive that entices humans to pursue their hearts’ desires despite the counsel they get from people who care about them. Leaving ‘Faith’ for the wild symbolically represents a situation where a person will depart from good to pursue something not certain. In the case of Goodman, an evil venture.

The forest life presents very unnatural situations, just like the way evil powers manifest supernaturally to men. A forest is a place for the wild. It has been used as an expression of the horrible occurrences that happen in there. In the first instance, he meets an older man who resembles him completely. The appearance of this man symbolizes the decision to pursue evil at the age when he already knows how to do good. The resemblance depicts that evil is available among all men including to Goodman. He sees it as a place of no good. He echoes the dominant point of view of seventeenth-century Puritans, who believed that the wild world was something to fear and then dominate (Ezghoul and Zuraika 2). It is symbolic that despite being in the midst of evil Goodman is able to recognize the faith he had always upheld, when he says, “We are a people of prayer, and good works to boot, and abide no such wickedness” (Hawthorne 1123). This statement is symbolic of the knowledge of doing well that Goodman had been exposed to in his life.

The names of the characters in the story are full of hidden meanings. The main character, Goodman, is a symbol that depicts a man who knows how to do good and has the capability to do good, but ironically the symbol reveals that it is good people who end up committing evil. Apart from him, his wife is also symbolic. Faith had married a good man for only three months before he decides to take a walk into the forest at night.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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