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Young Goodman Brown

             YOUNG GOODMAN BROWN Nathaniel Hawthorne, famous for his short and children stories, took on the issue of evil in our minds, in his story, Young Goodman Brown. Hawthorne begins his story in the setting of Salem village in Massachusetts. I believe the authors" selection of Salem was a good one, for it is a town that symbolizes evil with its history of the witch trials. Hawthorne takes a personal interest in the setting, where his grandfather was a judge at the trials. He wrote the story from the third person point of view of an anonymous onlooker. The author used very dark descriptive words introducing the settings that he wanted to present to give the reader a feeling of darkness and evil. The dreary road with dark gloomy trees," a grave decent into the wilderness", and the dreadful anthem within the canopy of fire are just a few examples of this symbolism. In the plot of the story, Young Goodman Brown, the protagonist, was pushed to the limit and had his religious faith questioned, when everything around him wasn't as it appeared. The Devil, the antagonist, tries to convince Brown that everyone he associated with being holy and pure, really were his followers. The devil even took the form of Browns" grandfather to comfort him and make him believe his family had always had connections to Satan. Young Goodman Brown soon discovers that all of the characters around him are all in with the devil. He finds that the local minister, Deacon Gookin and even the lady that was his spiritual advisor as a child, Goody Cloyse, all had a pact with the devil. Hawthorne had varying characters that took on many different aspects from what Brown expected when the devil spoke with them and drew their real characteristics out. I would say they were round characters that were dynamic in their representation, especially Faith. Faith, Browns" wife that he treasured dearly and whose name is an allusion used by the author, is the only thing that keeps him from losing his head.

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