Symbolism expresses a figurative depiction of something. The imagery in many pieces of literature is conspicuous. An excellent depiction of imagery is the short story "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The story is bursting with figurative meaning. It also contributes the perfect illustration of a symbolic narrative. "Young Goodman Brown" is a great representation of an abstract meaning through concrete or material forms. Hawthorne's use of items and people signifies a metaphorical tone throughout "Young Goodman Brown.".
In the story "Young Goodman Brown," Hawthorne uses two great symbolic characters in the story. These distinctive characters are Young Goodman Brown and Faith. In "Young Goodman Brown," Goodman, his first name, suggests innocence and his willingness to do right morally. Yet, Brown, his last name, signifies the darkness of the devil attempting to overshadow his allegiance in his religion. Ultimately, Brown gives in and embarks on a journey with the devil. Hawthorne clearly writes, "My faith is gone!" (450), which implies the loss of his religious faith. Faith, Brown's wife, is symbolic of her personality. This short story precisely backs up this point through the expression, "And Faith, as the wife was aptly named." (445). This line simply reveals that Hawthorne made no mistake in naming this character. Faith is also a representation of Brown's religion. In the first few lines, Faith is tenacious in attempting to keep Brown on the straight and narrow. Faith expresses this by uttering, "prithee, put off your journey until sunrise, and sleep in your own bed to-night" (445). Hawthorne not only uses main characters as a prominent symbol, but also uses objects to exemplify imagery.
Hawthorne's use of personification is a clear representation of allegory. One of the most obvious objects is the staff, which the devil is holding.