"Analysis on Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Essay by dooopyHigh School, 11th grade November 2003

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As the piece begins, the reader sympathizes with young Goodman Brown. He seems to be a god-fearing, respectable husband with a sweet, young wife with "pink ribbons"(1236) in her cap. However this peace and serenity is disturbed when Faith ominously says, "A lone woman is troubled with such dreams and such thoughts, that she's afeard of herself, sometimes. Pray, tarry with me this night, dear husband, of all nights in the year!" (1236) This fearfully exclaimed sentence foreshadows the plot and sets the mood as well. This effective foreshadowing puts the reader in a suspenseful and apprehensive mood because the reader knows that young Goodman Brown will have upcoming trials and tribulations.

As young Goodman Brown enters the forest. Hawthorne describes the road he takes as "darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest, which barely stood aside to let the narrow path creep through, and closed immediately behind."(1236)

This imagery serves as an imaginary aid as well as a foreshadowing. With the description, the reader pictures a forest filled with danger and evil that young Goodman must face. His decision to enter the forest and leave his "Faith" behind is the first decision, of many, between good and evil that he must make.

After entering the forest he meets a traveler whom he later finds out is the devil. He is carrying a staff representing evil, "which bore the likeness of a great black snake, so curiously wrought, that it might almost be seen to twist and wriggle itself, like a living serpent" (1237). This description of the staff is very interesting and effective because it shows just how evil this traveler is. The staff the traveler carries represents such evil that it actually takes on the likeness of a serpent.

As young Goodman Brown continues on...