Nathaniel Hawthorne weaves in "young Goodman Brown," a powerful short story that forces the reader to do some introspective thought. There are many approaches that you can take when analyzing literature. In "Young Goodman Brown," there are many layers to read through. Hawthorn uses symbolism throughout the story. Three significant symbols are the title character, his wife, and the pink ribbon.
"Young Goodman Brown," is a symbol in the story. "Young" infers the title character is immature. In addition, "Goodman" suggests his self-righteousness, thinking he is a "Goodman." Furthermore, "Brown" indicates he is a commoner. Thus, the full name implies he is the average immature and self-righteous Puritan.
In addition to the title being a symbol, his wife "s name is a symbol. At the beginning of the story, Goodman Brown leaves on a journey without Faith, his new wife. The same way, the Puritans left their faith "at home" and set out on a journey apart from their bride, Jesus Christ. Goodman Brown's desire to journey without Faith leads to her sacrifice. For example, Goodman Brown complains to the devil saying, "Faith kept me back awhile" (268). In the same way, the Puritans sacrifice their faith and try living self-righteously.
In addition, Hawthorne incorporates "pink" as another symbol in the story. Pink is used four times in the story. In the Bible scarlet represents sin while white signifies purity. This symbol represents the blend of purity and sin. In Addition, Hawthorne mentions "Faith, with pink ribbons" inferring his faith takes on this blend of purity and sin. Finally, Goodman Brown exclaims to Faith, "Look up to Heaven, and resist the Wicked One"(275)! Thus, he shows he never completely looses his faith.
In conclusion, Hawthorne uses "Young Goodman Brown," Faith, and the pink ribbon to enhance the story. For example, the names Faith and "Young Goodman Brown" symbolize more than a name.