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Symbols in Young Goodman Brown

Symbols Examples in Young Goodman Brown:

Young Goodman Brown


"“My Faith is gone!” cried he, after one stupefied moment...."   (Young Goodman Brown)

Earlier, Goodman Brown resisted the devil by believing that Faith is still pure and moral. Here, having lost his faith in his wife Faith, he has also lost faith in the world and in his own sense of morality. By claiming that his “Faith is gone,” he emphasizes the relationship between his wife and his Puritan faith. Goodman Brown’s beliefs rely on appearances and the behavior of his peers, creating an extreme ideology that doesn’t allow for nuance.

"“Faith kept me back a while,” replied the young man..."   (Young Goodman Brown)

Goodman Brown’s reply here strongly supports the idea that Hawthorne intended Faith’s name to serve a double meaning. When Goodman Brown says that Faith “kept [him] back awhile,” he means that his wife literally made him late and also that his Puritan faith caused him to doubt his decision to enter and continue journeying into the woods.

"my broomstick..."   (Young Goodman Brown)

Her description, the fact that she is muttering a "prayer," and the mention of a broom are all allusions to the image of a witch.

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