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What allegorical meanings may be given to Goodman Brown? His wife? The forest? Night...

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tinagunderson34 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 24, 2008 at 8:00 AM via web

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What allegorical meanings may be given to Goodman Brown? His wife? The forest? Night (as opposed to day)? Brown’s journey?

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bmadnick | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted February 24, 2008 at 10:14 AM (Answer #1)

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An allegory uses symbolism to represent human characteristics and situations. Goodman Brown's name refers to Everyman, and his wife's name, Faith, represents his own faith in God and in humanity. The dark woods come to represent Goodman's own hell because he's torn between his faith and giving in to evil, the struggle which every man must confront. Goodman tries to resist the temptation of the devil, but he continues his way into the darkness of the forest, unsure of what to do. In the end, he takes his own personal hell with him because he distrusts his wife and the other people for the remainder of his life. This alienates him and deprives him of the life he could have had.

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