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Nathaniel Hawthornes work is typically fraught with symbolism much of it deriving from his Puritan ancestry a great-great uncle was actually a judge in the Salem witchcraft trials Roth 76 Not surprisingly Hawthorne was obsessed with the twin themes of sin and guilt Author John Roth notes that A number of recurring thematic patterns and character types appear in Hawthornes novels and tales These repetitions show Hawthornes emphasis on the effects of events on the human heart rather thanthe events themselves 76 Because he is speaking of what we later would come to call the unconscious Hawthorne extensively employed the use of symbolism which bypasses the conscious logical mind to tap into its more dreamlike processesThe story begins as a conventional allegory creating the expectation that the characters will consistently exhibit the abstractions they symbolize Levy 116 Young Goodman Brown is an allegory whose characters play a major role in displaying the determination of what to believe and what not to believe The short story represents one mans wild journey to leave his faith home and security temporarily behind to take a chance with the devil on an adventure into a dark forest In his short story Young Goodman Brown the main character goes off into the forest and undergoes a life-transforming experience there The forest is a very real symbol of the test of strength courage and endurance it took real fortitude to survive in the forest and a young person entering this forest would not emerge the same However this story is more symbolic than realistic and the dangers are of the spirit The story is a dream vision or conscious day dream that explains the theme of the story as being a formal allegory composed of massive symbolism Many symbols help the protagonist Goodman Brown move toward a vision of evil which causes an unexpected effect of distrust due to his uncertain decision of experiencing a dream or reality In Young Goodman
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