The Irony and Symbolism of Young Goodman Brown.
In Young Goodman Brown, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, there are many different symbols and ironic happenings throughout the story. The author's use of names and his idea of no one being perfect are portrayed extremely well. The main character, Young Goodman Brown, goes from one extreme to the other. In the beginning of the story, he believes everyone is good-natured and by the end, his views have changed drastically. It is unknown as to whether or not Brown is dreaming throughout the story or if it is actually reality. The symbolism and irony of this short story is very prevalent.
Hawthorne created the main characters name, Young Goodman Brown, to be symbolic as well as ironic. Young refers to his naivety. He is nave because he goes to meet the Devil, not really knowing what he was getting himself into. The use of the name Goodman was ironic in the sense that he is not actually a good man because obviously he is intrigued by the Devil, since he goes to meet with the wicked one. Another name is Goody Cloyse, a Christian woman, who Brown notices while in the woods with the Devil. Brown departs with the Devil so she does not see him associating with the evil one. To Brown's surprise, Goody Cloyse speaks to the Devil and he realizes she is well acquainted with him, meaning Goody Cloyse is not so good after all.
Faith, Brown's wife, is part of the irony of the story. She did not want her husband to leave, because she did not want the Devil to get his grasps on to her beloved husband. Brown thinks she does not want him to leave because she thinks he might commit the act of adultery while he is away. She is trying to protect him since she knows what it is like to be a part of the evilness of the community. This shows she has no faith in her husband concerning his faith in God. This is one of the reasons it is ironic her name is Faith. .
In the beginning of the story, the author describes Faith as being angelic.