Things may not always be as they seem. Nathaniel Hawthorne, an American author, was one to dwell one this subject. This author, a descendant of Puritans, was unlike his strict ancestors. He did not believe in the Puritan code and laws. In the short story, "Young Goodman Brown", Hawthorne makes his anti-Puritan beliefs evident through symbolism. This story is about realization. Although a dark cloud hung over the path in the forest, Goodman Brown realized that his religion had secrets that were linked with evil.
The setting of "Young Goodman Brown", the forest, serves as one important symbol. It was said to be "gloomy" and "frightful". This proves to be true when Goodman Brown comes to a "demonic" insanity in the middle of the forest. The forest was also described as "dark" and "enclosing". This symbolizes that the forest is a place of evil. But when the forest is said to have "splendor", it gives the feeling of goodness. That goes to show that good and bad go hand in hand. The surrounding darkness of the forest contradicts the so-called truth if the enlightening religion.
Another prime example of symbolism in this short story is in the dark cloud. This cloud held "confused and doubtful" voices of the townspeople. Those voices were best heard in the sunlight, which proves the corruption of Goodman Brown's religion. The screams in the cloud are counteracted in the laughter that is present. His might represent the happiness that the Puritans have when a witch is hanged. The happy laughter suggests good whereas the scream represents evil. Again the good and evil are closely related. The bright light of the sun is brought to shadow by the cloud. This might show that the light of the truth is shadowed by the lies of heir religion.
The final example that is fairly obvious is the path. The path is often referred to as "wild" and "dreary". This gives to the picture of an evil insanity.