Allegory in Young Goodman Brown Story

Topics: Books

The Young Goodman Brown story occurs in the seventeenth century. The setting takes place in Salem which is a town located in the northeastern side of Boston, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Salem was established in 1692 by the puritan settlers as Namkeag and several years later, the town’s name was changed to Salem. The Bartleby the Scrivener story setting is in New York in 1853. This was at a law office occupied by odd men who have an entirely professional relationship

The Young Goodman Brown story is allegorical.

It is about a man, put against his history and ambition, to accomplish what heaven offers him. At the start of the story, Faith, the good man’s wife is discussed. Her name serves as a sign of what Hawthorn considers religious allegory since faith and the good man are soon to be against evil. When the good man alleges that he will cling to her skirt and follow her to heaven after the night, he uses religious allegory.

This sends the significance of young Goodman brown. Bartleby the Scrivener, on the other hand, is about a writer who declines to do the usual writing required of him. Bartleby the Scrivener is allegorical in that it characterizes Melville who is an author. This story echoes Melville’s self-criticism of his current work

In the Bartleby the Scrivener story, the crisis is shown when Melvin demonstrates to us how alone we can be even when we are in the midst of others. What is portrayed is the foundation of what comprise basic humanity.

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It is made clearer by the urban setting using the city. In The Young Goodman Brown story, there is an identity crisis of Young Goodman Brown. Hawthorn relates his own experience in order to share the life of Brown. Hawthorn uses internal conflict and sentiment to show Young Goodman Brown’s identity crisis. Hawthorn was born and raised in Salem just like Goodman Brown.

There exists a conflict in Young Goodman Brown Story. In the stories, beginning there was a conflict between the husband and wife. There is a marital row between the husband and wife as faith fears danger and does not want Young Goodman Brown to leave her during the night. This causes the conflict between them. It then boosts to a conflict between the good and evil in the world when Young Goodman Brown meets the devil in the forest. In the Bartleby, the Scrivener story conflict arises when Bartleby refuses to follow a simple order, and everyone is surprised. He would rather not to do anything else but copy documents even in situations where small favors are asked of him.

Climax exists in Bartleby the Scrivener story when Bartleby finally wins the unusual one-sided struggle between n him and the narrator. The scrivener will not depart, and the narrator shifts his practice to another building in order to avoid Bartelby. Climax occurs in The Young Goodman Brown story when Goodman and Faith looks in to each other’s eyes. The husband takes a look at his wife’s pale face and the wife at him. It also occurs when Goodman Brown and Faith stands before the altar so that they are baptized to be safe from the devil. Goodman Brown pauses at the last minute and insist his wife should look up to heaven.

Part II

Youngman Goodman Brown is dwelt on the belief of depravity whereby since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden after sinning against God, man has been edged on the path of sin and wretchedness. This is a major theme as illustrated in the book is allegory in that man is presented in the image of sin and of an unclean heart. Allegory is used by the presence of a man who resembles him in all aspects expect that he carries a black serpent-shaped staff. This is a clear indication of evil in that the blackness of the staff and the serpent are used to illustrate evil and the powers behind evil. He accepts the black staff made especially for him by his replica, which enables him to float around.

In addition, the literature uses imagery in that the name Young Goodman Brown is used to indicate innocence. The name Young is used to illustrate naivety in that he accepts the invitation to the forest without regard for leaving his new wife of three months alone and unattended even after she tries in vain to convince him to refrain form going into the forest. On the other hand, the name Goodman is used to illustrate the presence of a simple individual within society who falls to the wretched ways of the world that man is utterly attracted. It is his nature to sin. Furthermore, his wife, Faith, her name illustrates goodness and puritan behavior. However, this is not true as she is one of the converts into the witchery group, which has congregated in the midst of the forest. In essence, the book dwells on the notion that society exists as an illusion because those who are put in the light of righteousness are in fact embedded in sin and wretchedness. As Goodman brown comes from the forest, he seems not to believe the events in the forest in that he viewed his wife, Faith as innocent and incorruptible from the ways of the world.

On the other hand, the Bartleby, the Scrivener is a piece of literature, which focuses on the presence of individuals who have different character traits and ideals. The book focuses on Bartleby who is new in the office as a scrivener for the narrator. Bartleby is ever efficient and present, but his gradual inability to accomplish his tasks initiates hostility between the employees as they wonder about the abrupt slump in the work completed by Bartleby. The theme illustrated by the book is corruptibility of characters in that when Bartleby arrives within the office as hardworking individual delivering very high quality work but gradually sinks into dismay such that he does not deliver at all. His inability to accomplish tasks is identical to the two scriveners’ inability, Nippers and Turkey, to accomplish tasks at the different times of the day. Thus, it is evident that the influence of the two scriveners, Nippers and Turkey, influences the decline in productivity of Bartleby.

In addition, Bartleby’s isolation form the rest of the workers enables him to exercise a great deal of autonomy in that, he gradually declines to accomplish tasks and eventually ceases performing any kind of task. The book in essence of a clear indication of the personal traits, which hinder people form achieving their full potential. His inclination towards self-reservation leaves the audience uninformed about his past or future. However, the narrator explains the condition of the character as one who worked in the dead letter office despite his high level of competence and temperament. The dead letter office is used to illustrate the presence of darkness or gloom in ones life in different forms such as death, disease, sin or other unfortunate events. In a lawyer’s office, is depicted by the need to protect rich people and their riches despite such riches having been accumulated in unethical and immoral means.

In conclusion, the two works Bartleby, the Scrivener and Youngman Goodman Brown are an illustration of the moral and character corruption of good people within the society due to the unfavorable societal settings and values of the evolving society. Those who are thought to be free form sin and in the paths of righteousness are however, embedded in sin and corruption of morals due to their naivety and influence. Hence, no individual in the world exists in puritan society since the fall of man, as we are all equally susceptible to committing sin because it is in man’s nature to commit sin.

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Allegory in Young Goodman Brown Story. (2018, Jan 26). Retrieved from

Allegory in Young Goodman Brown Story
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