Nathaniel Hawthorne Writing Styles in Young Goodman Brown

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Allegory

"Young Goodman Brown" takes the form of an allegory. An allegory uses symbolic elements to represent various human characteristics and situations. Brown represents Everyman ("Goodman" was a title for those under the social rank of "gentleman") while Faith represents his faith in humanity and society. In leaving his wife, Brown forsakes his belief in the godliness of humanity. He immediately enters a wood "lonely as could be" that is enshrouded in a "deep dusk." These woods are the physical location in which Brown explores his doubts and opposing desires, and as such represent his personal hell. When he tells his companion "Faith kept me back awhile," it is clear that he feels ambivalent about forging a pact with the Devil. Yet, while Brown pledges to return to Faith several times, he continues his dark journey. Although Brown eventually leaves the physical location of the woods, mentally he stays...

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This section contains 780 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Young Goodman Brown Study Guide
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Short Stories for Students
Young Goodman Brown from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.