Young Goodman Brown
One of the American short story writers was Nathaniel Hawthorne. His works present Romanticism, in particular Dark Romanticism. The biggest part of his works depicts moral allegories together with Puritan inspiration. Hawthorne often focuses on the inherent evil together with the human sin as he did in his short story “Young Goodman Brown”. This story is considered to be written in allegorical and symbolic way. Due to this, the author shows deep psychological complexity.
The story takes place in Puritan New England in 17th century. The main hero Young Goodman Brown has a journey into his introspection which leads to loss of faith and virtue. At the beginning the hero speaks with his young wife Faith who is the only symbol of love and hope. Goodman Brown is going on the journey and meets a man, who is the Devil. As the main hero was late for the meeting, in excuse he replied that Faith kept him back awhile. Having a double meaning this situation shows that the encounter with his beloved woman prevented him from being betimes for meeting with the Devil, though faith in God also prevented the meeting. Furthermore, during the journey Goodman Brown detects the man’s staff. It appeared to be something like a great black snake. This is a symbol of the presence of the evil during the appointment. The staff leads Brown to the ceremony of the Devil like destroying of his man’s faith. At the end Young Goodman Brown found himself alone in the forest. The mysterious journey that happened to him that night perhaps was only a dream or possibly it was reality but in spite of this it had changed his life greatly.
To sum up, Nathaniel Hawthorn wrote one of the greatest short story in American literature. The story is full of symbols as well as allegories that pertain to human’s depravity.