How is "Young Goodman Brown" an example of an allegory?  

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Young Goodman Brown" is an example of allegory in that everything in the story is symbolic or representative of something else. In this case, Young Goodman Brown's name is the first allegorical symbol to a man who does good deeds. When he leaves his wife, Faith, to go into the forest, we also see the connection between his wife's name and his detour from his usual goodness and good faith. As he walks in the forest, he meets the devil  himself, witnesses acts of witchcraft and satanism, and sees his elders, his wife and a myriad of others in the path of hell. This journey through the forest is also representative of a mind about to go in his own personal hell, and who will abandon his good ways. The insanity in the end of the story can be interpreted as Young Goodman Brown's fall from grace, and as a lesson on the emptiness and loneliness that surges after one has abandoned the ways of God.  In its entirety the story is quite allegorical.