Irony, Symbolism, And Imagery In Young Goodman Brown

2168 words - 9 pages

Irony, Symbolism, and Imagery in Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown"

Nathaniel Hawthorne, well known for his attacks on outlandish Puritan ideology in The Scarlet Letter, has always incorporated some aspect of his life and beliefs into his works. Once again, he has successfully conveyed a strong moral concept by utilizing various literary techniques to reveal a disturbing outlook into a man's soul. In "Young Goodman Brown," Nathaniel Hawthorne uses strong symbolism, irony, and imagery to illustrate the theme of man as one attempting to escape from evil; oblivious to the fact that sin is an escapable part of human nature. In the story, the reader is guided through Goodman Brow ...view middle of the document...

Ironically, this idealistic (but not as convenient) pact will lead to Brown's eventual downfall when he will no longer look at his wife with the same faith when he finally returns at dawn. Furthermore, this ambitious promise also reflects how Goodman Brown feels he can do something evil and still go back to his "pure" ways and beliefs – not the case as Brown will later see.
Images of gloom and evil twist through the reader's mind as Brown takes "a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest" to finally meet the Devil, known to him as only a companion (Hawthorne 141). Ironically, Goodman thinks that the devil could be watching him when he is faced with the Devil personified in the figure of an ironically "grave" man (Hawthorne 141). Young Goodman Brown excuses himself for being late as "Faith" kept him back; a double meaning because his wife physically keeps him back while his faith in God psychologically also delays his meeting. As the two gentlemen start their journey through the woods, the Devil offers his staff, which resembles a serpent, to Brown (Hawthorne 141). This serpent can be looked at as an allusion to the snake in the story of Adam and Eve which led them to their expulsion from
paradise (through temptations). In this respect, a similar staff will lead Goodman Brown to the Devil's witch ceremony, destroying his faith in fellow men, and consequent expulsion from his utopia. Richard Fogle believes that the staff is an allusion to the biblical story of Aaron who had thrown down his rod before the Pharoah, thus linking Brown with a religious struggle, especially one "of the mind" (102).
Almost immediately as the two travelers resume their journey, young Brown declares that he no longer wishes to continue on his errand as he believes that he comes from a "race of honest men and good Christians" (Hawthorne 142). He further reasons that his father had never gone on such an errand, and therefore neither would he. The Devil is quick to challenge Brown's excuses by pointing out how he was with his father and grandfather as they were flogging a woman or burning an Indian village, respectively (Hawthorne 142). These acts are ironic since they are bad deeds done in the name of good, and clearly illustrate that "good Christians," like Brown's father and grandfather supposedly were, regularly partook in the same journey that he is against. Young Goodman Brown is further amazed at the Devil's further inclusion of the most religious leaders in the sort of wickedness all Puritans passionately abhorred and condemned (Hawthorne 142). Once again, Goodman Brown is bewildered when the Devil converses with Goody Cloyse, the teacher who taught him (Brown) catechism, as she holds the Devil with great reverence and speaks highly of the

evil ceremony she is making her way to (Hawthorne 143). Brown stubbornly refuses any further advancement in the journey and with great pride applauds
himself for resisting temptation and keepin...


bartleby and young goodman brown essay - ENGL 1011 - Essya

546 words - 3 pages Maitland 1 Kayla Maitland Professor Michael Marotto ENGL-Seminar in Writing Through Literature 24 September 2017 Nathaniel Hawthrone’s Young Goodman Brown vs Herman Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street" Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown and Herman Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener: The Story of Wall Street tackles the distinctive aspects concerning the struggles of humankind. I have noticed that both of these writers

Comparing Young Goodman Brown and Story of an Hour - NCC/English 110 - Essay

897 words - 4 pages Kidd 1 Krystal Kidd DeCapua Eng. 1110 11 Feb 2016 Social Pressures and Secret Desires In the short stories “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne and “The story of an Hour” by Kate Chopin both works have an underlying theme of strength in morality and social pressure. In both works the authors show in their characters a sense of wanting, but not knowing how to pursue their desires. In “Young Goodman Brown,” Hawthorne reveals what he sees

Hamlet's revenge tragedy through imagery, symbolism and his character development - St.Joseph - Essay

2200 words - 9 pages feelings usually end badly for everyone involved. In Shakespeare’s theatrical works of “Hamlet”, it is the murder of the Old King that resulted in a revenge tragedy, the eldest son Hamlet is called to overcome many obstacles in order to seek the rightful revenge for his father’s death. Shakespeare’s use of symbolism and imagery further develops this theme of revenge. The appearance of the ghost was a great inspiration of the Elizabethan Era, its role

Imagery and Literary Devices in Macbeth - English - Essay

1212 words - 5 pages Imagery In Macbeth Imagery is often used in literary work to convey a visual description of themes. In William Shakespeare’s ​Macbeth​, imagery plays a significant role of enhancing themes of appearance vs. reality, natural vs. unnatural, evil and secrecy for the reader to better conceptualize through characters and the atmosphere. Garments, nature, and darkness, are three main images found within Macbeth that establish themselves with

Naturalism, Irony and contrast in of mice and men - Walter Johnson High school, class of 2022 - Essay

1045 words - 5 pages Adelen Cera Period 5 12/4/18 Naturalism, Irony and contrast in Of Mice and Men In literature, authors tend to use a variety of literary elements in order to shape their written work, and one of these elements include setting. This is true in the novella Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck due to the fact that setting plays a big role in this novella. The story takes place a few miles south of Soledad, California, near the Salinas River during the

A Comparison Of The Imagery And Language In "The Handmaid's Tale" And Judith Wright's Poems

1021 words - 5 pages language and imageries tend to describe the narrator's emotions and character, to let the readers link them to the environment, which Atwood comments on, to create irony. Therefore the readers will find a big difference in terms of the use of language and imagery in the two texts, even literally the same symbol is used.

"Oh,Sweet Irony" / A Comparison/Contrast Paper About The Ironies In Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal" And Susan Glaspell's "Trifles"

1448 words - 6 pages Free Oh, Sweet Irony"A Modest Proposal" (1729) by Jonathan Swift relates one man's facetious point of view on the state of Ireland's impoverished. Swift offers a solution to the problem by suggesting that the overpopulation conundrum can by solved by indulging in the flesh of the nation's underprivileged infants. Susan Glaspell's Trifles (1916) depicts an early twentieth century murder-mystery and the role that two women take in solving the mystery

George Eliot: The Use Of Objects And Imagery In "The Mill On The Floss"

4162 words - 17 pages instincts, bending and molding people unnaturally to fit the skewed standards of a patriarchal society. The connection between "man and matter", and the loss of natural liberties in conjunction with man being an "extension of matter", became a prevalent topic among many Victorian writers. George Eliot, the author of "The Mill on the Floss", used imagery and objects to show the deranged view of the importance of materialism in her time period. The

How Is Animal Imagery Used In "Therese Raquin" And "If This Is A Man"?

2007 words - 9 pages Free carefully defined environment and observing the resulting behaviour. No novelist can actually work like this, of course, since both characters and setting are created in the distinctly unobjective mind of the writer; but Zola's novels do place special stress on the importance of heredity and environment in determining character.Zola used a lot of animal imagery thus there's a lot of attention to body types as he believed by knowing the characteristics

Safety in Children and Young People - Open University - Essay

2745 words - 11 pages thinking. I identified arguments Joe had overheard between his parents and his dad absence as main risks and issues because of the affect it has had on Joe’s emotional wellbeing and mental health. The SHANARRI framework informs us that in order for children and young people to feel safe, nurtured and respected, “the child or young person is free from exposure to persistent emotional abuse within the home (i.e. exposed to domestic abuse within

The Role and Symbolism of Blood in Macbeth - ENG 3UB - Essay

1037 words - 5 pages Free The Role and Symbolism of Blood in Macbeth In plays and novels, blood is normally used to symbolize death, mortality, and family. Blood reminds us of the vitality and importance of life. In Macbeth, Shakespeare uses blood to convey the emotional turmoil and the conscience of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. We are constantly reminded, through the use of blood, the emotional impact of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth’s actions has on them. While Macbeth becomes

Abandonment and Dark Imagery in Sylvia Plath's “Daddy” - la jolla country day school, honors english 3 - Poem analysis

2206 words - 9 pages �1 Abandonment and Dark Imagery in “Daddy” Leila Bitarafan Honors English III Daddy You do not do, you do not do Any more, black shoe In which I have lived like a foot For thirty years, poor and white, Barely daring to breathe or Achoo Daddy, I have had to kill you You died before I had time------ Marble-heavy, a bag full of God, Ghastly statue with one gray toe Big as a Frisco seal And a head in the freakish Atlantic Where it pours bean green

How Edmund Waller uses Personification and Symbolism in “Song” to Express a Woman’s Beauty - MSU - Poetry Essay

994 words - 4 pages Free Brooks 1 Gabriel Brooks Ms. Voller EN 2203-17 17 July 2018 How Edmund Waller uses Personification and Symbolism in “Song” to Express a Woman’s Beauty Is not it ironic how one can tell a person they are beautiful without verbally speaking? Well there are plenty ways to do so without speaking. Admiration can be one of the most difficult things to portray to another individual. Many people are too shy to tell a person how they feel or they are

Manage quality in health and social care or children and young people's setting - Adut Services - nvq LEVEL 5

4685 words - 19 pages Tony Singh Unit 26Page16 Manage Quality in health and social care or children and young people’s setting 1.1 Analyse how legislative and regulatory frameworks inform quality standards that apply to the work setting Essential standards of quality and safety consist of 28 regulations that are set out in two pieces of legislation: The Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010 and the Care Quality Commission

Anne Frank And The Diary Of A Young Girl And The Way She Reacts And Describes The Other People In Her Book

945 words - 4 pages Anne Frank and Her Relationship with the Other Members of the Annexe.By Alex AthaasIn Anne Frank: Diary Of A Young Girl the characters are only family friends and the Van Daans'. The only problem in the book is these characters were real and we only have a one sided view of what the characters were like but this essay will explain to you what Anne thought of them as she wrote the diary.Anne Frank's older sister Margot, is sixteen years old when