epollock | Student

You can view it as an allegory because religious faith may be viewed as both constructive and destructive, and therefore the allegorical journey suggests the moral laxness and ambiguity into which people sometimes fall. The lesser characters belong both to Brown’s journey into evil and also to his later life. Thus Deacon Gookin and Goody Cloyse meet Brown on the street as he returns to Salem (paragraph 70), and immediately they embody the theme of Brown’s hatred of hypocrisy. At this point the narrator presents these characters as virtuous, however, and in this way Hawthorne emphasizes Brown’s distorted vision. Ironically—and irony of situation is a major aspect of this story—Brown becomes evil while pursuing good and what he supposed to be godliness. For these reasons together with a number of others, the forest journey justifies the claim that it is allegorical.

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Young Goodman Brown

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