Sunday, February 3, 2013

English 3-H: Young Goodman Brown


Allegories are stories in which all superficial representations are operating as symbols. Analyze Hawthorne's use of allegory, symbolism and motif(s) within the story. Be sure to identify all of the notable instances of symbolism and motif, exploring the relationships among them while critiquing their effectiveness.

Produce a sharp, point-dense paragraph.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sara Silva Class: E
Young Goodman Brown the short story written by Nathaniel Hawthorne utilizes symbols frequently throughout the story. The pink ribbon which was a delicate piece of fabric symbolized his innocence. “The young man seized it, and beheld a pink ribbon” Goodman Brown encounters the pink ribbon which can also indicate his wife. His wife is named Faith and Faith is what is making his life continue. “My Faith is gone”; this follows immediately after he seized the pink ribbon. This could indicate that he actually lost his Faith or that he could have lost his wife Faith. The allegories of this play is that mainly even though that people during this time where going insane and there was chaos going on, this was still taking place in Salem. Salem is where there was major witch-craft and people where annoyed as is and where very aware that they could be the next accused witch. Other important symbols may include the Devil, the dark figure that may symbolize the devil but have different names in the story. Hawthorne utilized multiple symbols throughout the story that has an allegory on the total affect.

Anonymous said...

In "Young Goodman Brown", Hawthorn uses symbolism and allegories.One symbole is the pink ribbon. This is a symbole for his innocence. Another one is his name. His name is Young Goodman. He is suppose to be young with goes back with the pink ribbon and he is suppose to be a good man. Another symbole is his wife. His wife's name is Faith. She is suppose to have faith in him and he is suppse to have faith in her. The whole story is an allegory for the Salem Witch Trails. He has a dream about the churches and how they wicked people are with the "holy" people. This is what the Salem Witch Trails were about. They were normal people but people thought they were wicked. Another allegory could be the churches and religion. People think that people who go to church are better than them but in reality those people are like normal people who struggle. Hawthorne uses symbolism and allegories to show how these things can create a bigger meaning.

Rachael Clark

Nick Cardone said...

The story 'Young Goodman Brown', by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is an allegorical tale in which symbolism is used to mask the story of the Fall of Man, the third chapter of the Book of Genesis. In the beginning, Goodman Brown is a young man who is married to Faith, and decides to go out into the woods for the night to visit a relative. Ironically, Goodman Brown is actually a symbol for Eve, who, in Genesis, was a symbol of man's inherent corruptibility and the differences between men and women. The forest, in comparison to the town of Salem in which Goodman Brown lives, could be seen as the tree where the fruit of knowledge hangs from, and the town the Garden of Eden. As Brown wanders through the forest, he meets an old man who he follows through the woods. In the original story of the Fall, Eve is guided to the Fruit of Knowledge by a serpent. In both cases, they are disguises of Satan, the remains of the fallen angel known as Lucifer. Brown follows Satan through the woods to a dark festival of local church goers who are worshiping Satan. Soon, Brown, like Eve eating the Fruit of Knowledge that ends the innocence of humanity, enters the witches' Sabbath, and awakes without faith in mankind. These symbols and allegories of the Fall of Man, be it the old wanderer's serpent-headed staff, or the difference between the forest and the town, all add into the powerfully dark tone of the short story, as well as its deep subtexts.

Anonymous said...

Raegen DaSilva: E
Young Goodman Brown: Analysis
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown is rich with symbolism. Hawthorn uses the old man’s staff, the Minister, the Deacon, and Faith’s pink ribbons to convey the idea that things are not always as they seem. As Goodman Brown walks through the woods after departing from his worried wife Faith, he encounters an old man in the road. The man is holding a staff with a serpent on it. The man beckons for brown to take the staff and says that it will make his journey easier. When Brown takes the staff, he finds himself surrounded by trees that have caught on fire. Along with him, Brown finds the church Minister and Deacon and is shocked to find his innocent wife, Faith, there as well. Faith still had her pink ribbons in her hair and looked all the same but it seemed that she had become evil. Brown eventually escapes the burning woods and finds himself in his home town. He passes the Minister and the Deacon and feels nothing but anger and disgust. When he finally gets home he can’t bear to look at his wife because he feels the real evil inside her. The staff in the woods represented pure evil the Minister and Deacon represent the corruption of the church. Faith and her ribbons symbolize the pure innocence that became corrupt by the devil. As a whole, all of these symbols represent the idea that even the most innocent of people can become corrupt by evil and that things are never as they seem.

Anonymous said...

In the story, "Yound Goodman Brown", Hawthorne represents symbolism and motifs throughout the short story.One important symbol in this story is the pink ribbon that is highlighted multiple times. The pink ribbon in Faith's hair represents that innocents of Faith and Young Goodman Brown. Another symbol in, "Young Goodman Brown", is the names. Brown's wife's name "Faith" represents the faith Brown loses for his society after they go to the evil side. Also it represents that she is his only faith until he has that dream. Lastly, Young Goodman Brown's name symbolizes that he is a "good" man and that is repsented when he goes into the forest but doesn't want to because he loves his wife and wants to stay faithful to her. A motif in this story would be when important people keep entering the forest to turn evil such as the old lady, minister and deacon. Then lastly the most important person, his wife, enters the forest and makes Brown resent everyone he loved. Symbolism and motifs are used in this short story to represent solid ideas without pointing them out completely.
-Taylor Silver

Andrew Morse said...

Andrew Morse
Shifting from a dream sequence to reality in “Young Goodman Brown” Nathaniel Hawthorne utilizes meaningful allegory, demonic symbolism, and a satanic motif to show the consequences of doubting god. In the story the protagonist is, Goodman Brown. Goodman Brown has a very strong faith in God but has agreed to attend a strange man’s meeting in the woods. The man he meets appears to be a human but is partially revealed to be the Devil and symbolizes him. This old man symbolizes the Devil because he tempts men like Goodman Brown to turn to evil. Also the man’s staff is a serpent, which also symbolizes the devil because Goodman Brown was curious and was tempted into believing the devil and used the stick against his first instincts. Another symbol is Goodman Brown’s journey to the meeting and through the woods. It represents his loss of innocence and how he lost his faith in God by even showing any interest in the devil. The motif of the story is the devil, and most of the symbols are symbolic of the devil too. This story is an allegory because the work as a whole is symbolic of something. This story is symbolic of loss of faith and questioning your religion because others no longer believe.

Sarah Goldberg said...

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. Hawthorne uses irony to name some of his characters. For example, Goodman Brown’s name is Goodman as irony because he actually turns evil. Also, he names Goodman Brown's wife Faith because he is portraying the spirituality juxtaposed with evil. Hawthorne repeatedly brings up the elderly man's staff and how it looks like a serpent because serpents relate to evil so this shows the motif of evil. He sets the whole story in Salem to allude to the evil that took place there in the seventeenth century during the witch trials. Lastly, Hawthorne displays religious people like Deacon Gookin and a minister doing things for the devil to show how they and spirituality can be corrupt and not all good. Nathaniel Hawthorne portrays an overall allegory of corruption of religion and a motif of evil throughout the short story "Young Goodman Brown."

Anonymous said...

Bob Anderson
Class:E
Throughout Young Goodman Brown the author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, depicts a walk with the devil during the Salem witch trials, by using an obvious allegory,dark symbolism, and a failing motif, in order to show the temptations of man. Goodman Brown’s walk can be used as an allegory for how his temptations overcame his faith and brought him to literally walk with the devil. Hawthorne used two main symbols, Faith and the Devils walking stick. Faith represents Goodman’s spirituality and pureness, which he disregards when he leaves her behind. The Devil’s walking stick which is described as serpentine in nature symbolizes a snake, which biblically is a demon, a tool of the devil. Faith is also a motif; she is constantly referred to in the story as failing to “resist the wicked one”,(Goodman 33)but failing. Using an obvious allegory, dark symbolism, and a failing motif, Nathaniel Hawthorne successfully illustrates the temptations of the devil and weakness of man.

Erin Kennedy said...

Creating an overall meaning of corruption through religion, Nathaniel Hawthorne utilizes allegory, symbolism, and motif to display the juxtaposition of one man's journey to the Salem Witches. The allegory of Young Goodman Brown is even the most religios of people can be turned evil by the corruption of withches. Taking place in Salem, the young man traveled into the forest with the old man with the serpent staff. The staff symbolized the evil of the witch and its power to take over a pure soul, for the staff's shape of a black serpent is a universal symbol of evil. Young Goodman Brown is left with the staff and repeatedly motif's to the idea of the Devil and how he shall come to him and be right at his elbow. Due to the placement of Salem and the corruption by witches, it displays an overall meaning of evil taking over and corrupting the pure religion of Christianity through witch craft. Young Goodman Brown symbolizes the religious corruption by the evil of the serpent staff in the Salem Witch era.

Ryan Brown said...


Exploring religion and morality in “Young Goodman Brown”, Nathaniel Hawthorne employs a pessimistic allegory, contrasting symbolism and demonic motif to express his ideas that humans are inherently corruptible and that the foundation of people’s beliefs are weak. The entire allegory for the story shows that Hawthorne thinks that there is no real redeeming side to most people because they have no good qualities. Brown was corrupted because he chose to go to the forest himself, and so because of his curiosity he met the devil and all of his peers working alongside him. If the sequence was real, then Brown chose to take the staff and go there because everyone else was doing it; but if it was not real then it shows that he has a dark side to him that always existed but was not seen until now. The two major symbols in the story, the serpent staff and the pink ribbons, are very different in their meanings. The staff is symbolic of the devil and the curiosity that brought Brown to the forest in the first place, much like Eve in the Bible story when she took the fruit at the insistence of the serpent Devil. The ribbons show that faith is pure and innocent, and when they fall from the sky that is the last straw for Brown as he goes to the ceremony. The motif is that the devil is always present in people’s lives and that, in the end, he will always win and get some degree of control over you.

tyler said...

Young Goodman Brown Analysis
Tyler Fairbairn

The short story Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne relies on blatant symbolism, biblical motif and historical allegory to convey the idea that even the most devout can be as evil as the devil. The symbolism of the work is blatant with the intent of appearing as a fable to the reader, a work of warning to stay in faith supported by Goodman’s wife literally being named Faith and the entire tale being of him getting farther and farther away from her. It is revealed at the end of the story that Goodman’s destination is a church , what this suggests to the reader is that the church is a devout one, but one lacking faith which was left at home. This also speaks to the reader that the cult like, corrupted church in turn an allegory for an actual church, one corrupted by wicked, the story’s setting being pre-revolutionary salem leaves no doubt to it’s commentary on the historical acts that took place there, namely the paranoia and fear that led to the witch trials. While in execution the symbolism and allegory is as blatant as if George Orwell had named two pigs in Animal Farm Stalin and Trotsky respectively, it accomplishes its goal of criticism to the religious paranoia of the era featured in the setting.

Lauren MacGray said...

Lauren MacGray

To describe the overall meaning of the short story, Young Goodman Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne distributes an allegory of corruption throughout religion, ancient symbolism, and a corresponding motif. The allegory in this short story describes that even the good people can be corrupt by the witches in Salem. Symbolism is also used to help portray the overall meaning and supports the allegory. The devil that was in the forest of Salem was carrying a staff that was symbolic of an evil demon. Not only that, but he then offers Young Goodman Brown to take the staff and so he does. This is also symbolic of Young Goodman Brown on the path of becoming evil as well. It also portrays him losing his innocence and being corrupt. Another example of symbolism is Faith’s pink ribbons in her hair. Young Goodman Brown’s wife, Faith, had pink ribbons in her hair that could easily symbolize that she is an innocent, pure girl. “Letting the wind play with the pink ribbons of her cap.” (Pg.24) The fact that the ribbons are pink could also symbolize that she is a young woman full of happiness. Also, the overall setting, Salem is a symbol for evil because it illustrates the Salem witch trials. Nathaniel Hawthorne also utilizes a motif of good vs. evil and dark vs. light. Good vs. evil is used when Young Goodman Brown finds Faith at the ceremony in the forest. The fact that she was at the ceremony made her husband question what is good or bad in the world because Faith was a good person. Also, dark vs. light is another motif because it being dark also represents the evil. “It was now deep dusk in the forest…”(Pg.25) This also helps set the mood and represents the bad. The names of Faith in her husband can also illuminate a motif. Young Goodman Brown could mean that he is a young good man. Brown could represent that he is also just an average man. Also, Faith means that she is a happy girl even though she attends the ceremony.

Anonymous said...

Sarah Ready
In "Young Goodman Brown," by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the author portrays the battle of good versus evil inside of the allegory of a young, goodman. Young Goodman Brown is a goodman who begans to understand that everyone has the potential of being evil, no matter how good you are; "There may be a devilish Indian behind every tree" (Goodman 25) and "There is no good on earth and sin is but a name" (Goodman 30). Furthermore, Young Goodman Brown portays the common goodman, that works hard to support his wife and does not grab her in public;"There is my wife, Faith. It would break her dear little heart; and I'd rather break my own (Goodman 26). Young Goodman Brown declares, "With heaven above and Fatih below, I will yet stand firm agisnt the Devil!" (29). However, Young Goodman Brown's faith is far away during his moment of weakness. As Faith sitts at home, she holds in her hands pink ribbons, which symbolize Young Goodman Brown's innocence and purity. In the end, the good is victorious in the battle, as he returns home to his Faith; "In the arm of Faith" everything is once again pure and innocent(28). However one cannot appreciate the victory of the good when battling the evil, without experiencing for themselves, the bad in the world.

Anonymous said...

In “Young Goodman Brown” there are multiple examples of Hawthorne’s use of symbolism and motifs throughout this entire short story. Goodman Brown is a young man who represents a lot more than is portrayed in this story. The events he experiences symbolize different things about the deeper feelings people have and try to cope with. The journey Young Goodman Brown takes into the woods symbolizes the abstract journey someone takes within themselves and their own feelings when going through a tough situation in their life. His faith in his wife faith shows that he trusts her and wants her to be safe; the trust people have for ones they really care about in life. The gathering of “devil worshippers” also symbolizes the doubts people have in the ones that are close to them. He was dreaming, he dreamt his wife was getting condemned with him and he told her to look up to the heavens and refuse the devil. Shows that he thinks she has some evil in her if he dreamed about this situation. He then wakes up in the woods and can no longer trust anyone that he sees because he thinks they are all devil worshippers, this symbolizes the trust issues people have after they get betrayed by people close to them. Motifs also play a part in this short story when Faith is constantly referred to. Faith is brought up numerous time and how she can’t resist the devil or wicked one.
-Brad Wry

Nate Barrette said...


During the duration of the short story Young Goodman Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorn the author, uses evil symbolism, enthusiastic allegories and dark motif to describe a different meaning within the story. When Goodman Brown met the man on the street he knew that something was not right. The staff symbolizes the Devils offering for a better life in trade for his soul. Without the Devil having to introduce himself Young Goodman Brown knew something was not right. Young Goodman Brown uses the pink ribbon to symbolize the innocence he has. The devil symbolizes the struggle Young Goodman Brown has to put up with and fight through to get his faith back. Young Goodman Browns wife’s name is faith and he claims that his faith his gone which could interpret that his love for his wife and for his belief in god is not there. Throughout the story of Young Goodman Brown Nathaniel Hawthorn seems to have produced an allegory of the amount of people that get turned away from believing in god due to the fact that everyone else around them does not believe.

-Nate Barrette

Kaleigh Schleicher said...

Throughout the story “Young Goodman Brown”, Hawthorne’s use of symbolism, allegory, and motifs creates an overall symbolic meaning that even a person’s beliefs can be questioned and changed. Goodman Brown travels into the woods meeting a man with a serpent staff. The serpent is a symbol for a creepy, scary, sly creature giving the feeling that this man is evil. Along the journey, the man travels with Goodman Brown questioning him with the repetitive statement of the devil. With this, Goodman becomes engulfed with the idea of the devil and questions his religious beliefs such as Christianity. The idea of “witches” comes about, and how to decided if a person is a witch or not, or if the devil could in fact be real. All of this imprints of Goodman Brown’s mind bringing about his ultimate downfall of a crazy and tiresome life. This provides information that even the good in people can be corrupted and questioned.

Connor Lynch said...

Connor Lynch
2-3-13
English E
Shifting from a horrifying nightmare to a painful realization of others’ corruption, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses a dark allegory, unholy symbolism, and a mysterious motif to convey the darkness and evil that good and holy men and women have from their sins. There is an allegory in young Goodman Brown’s journey into the forest, what appears to be the pits of hell itself once he arrives at the ceremony. He travels there alongside an old man, who is actually perceived as the devil himself. The old man asks why Goodman Brown was running late, and he explains that Faith is the reason he was held back. This is representative of Brown’s actual devout faith in Christianity, shown through his marriage with the pure girl. However, he leaves her behind for a little while to explore the darkness of the forest, and, in turn, the darkness in himself as well. He applies the things he saw in the forest to the good people he sees everyday in the village and instead sees them as sinners and distances himself from everybody he knows, even his own Faith.

Anonymous said...

Throughout Young Goodman Brown, Hawthorne utilizes distinct symbolism and an interesting motif very effectively through the text. He uses a very interesting motif. The motif he uses is continuous letdown. Goodman Brown continuously views people that were once religiously pure and good spirited people visit the devil, Goodman Brown begins to lose faith in many people. Lastly Hawthorne uses symbolism to display the devil. Hawthorne creates this Serpent staff as a way for Goodman Brown to lose his innocence, Goodman brown is tempted to enter the forest strictly because of his curiosity. Both the mentioning of a serpent and this curiosity that belongs to Goodman Brown is a very common recurring theme in bible entries.- Mike Travers

zack sicard said...

Zack Sicard
Young Goodman Brown
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown is an allegory in which his journey into the devilish Puritan wood shows a loss of innocence. Pertinent symbols throughout Young Goodman Brown include Goodman Brown himself, the devilish woods surrounding Salem and finally his wife Faith. Goodman Brown symbolizes mans poor ability to resist temptation and his loss of faith along the journey of life. In this case Goodman Browns wife named Faith literally represents his faith in purity and Christianity. Faith senses Goodman Browns internal troubles and asks him to “put off [his] journey”. (24) During the Salem Witch trials the Puritans believed the woods was the home of demons and the devil himself. Goodman Brown describes his assent into the woods as a “dreary road, darkened by the gloomiest trees of the forest …that closed in behind him”. (25) The reoccurring motif so deeply integrated into the core of this short narrative is the idea that faith itself can sometimes not resist the wickedness of the devil.

Anonymous said...

Nicole Kiley
In the short story, Young Goodman Brown, Hawthorne utilizes obvious allegory, evident symbolism, and apparent motif to covey the idea of corrupt spirituality and the Salem witch trials. The village that Young Goodman Brown resides in is full of life, light, and community. It is juxtaposed against the forest that is dark, dreary, and evil. This conveys an eerie mood throughout the play. The old man, around fifty-years-old, holds a staff of a serpent. He symbolizes the Devil and corruption. This story also takes place in Salem Village, a town in New England. The village represents the evil and wicked in the world, and how it can turn even the most religious of people into a person of sin. Goodman Brown’s wife’s name is Faith; her name is a motif throughout the story. Goodman screams her name in the darkness of the woods, symbolizing his regret and guilt for choosing the path of evil. Her name signifies the Christian faith and values. Her pink ribbons are also utilized throughout the play to symbolize the idea of spirituality and loss of religion. In Young Goodman Brown, Hawthorne states, “The young man seized it, and beheld a pink ribbon. My Faith is gone” (30). In the beginning of the story her ribbons represent innocence and faith in God, though at the end of the story she loses her ribbon which shows the loss of holiness. The title Young Goodman Brown symbolizes the idea of a “Good Man”, full of life and religion and how that man slowly is twisted, corrupted and changed into a “Bad Man” full of sin, evil and wrongdoing.

Anonymous said...

From shifting to a horrifying encounter to a shocking realization of the world’s true colors, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses deep allegory, brutal symbolism, and distinct motif to convey his thought that sin not only lies in evil people, it lies in all. The idea that people can be read from the outer most layer is rejected by Hawthorne by the story of Brown’s town being deceptive. Being welcomed into the woods by a sketchy serpent staff symbolizing the evil that he is about to encounter. When discovering his innocent wife’s pink ribbon in the middle of the woods helps to symbolize how all innocence has been lost. The overwhelming message of this short story is how in this corrupt world you must eventually learn that the only person you can rely on is yourself. --BROOKEKORONA