Following Maus (2002), the symbolic meaning of Faith in the story "is not only representative of Faith the individual but the faith of the individual--witness Goodman Brown's reply to the devil's comment about his tardiness, which contains both literal and allegorical truth" (78). From the very beginning, readers perceive characters and their actions through their symbolic names.
Using symbols names as elements of characterization, Hawthorne portrays the concern is with human motives and human action and with what an act may reveal of character. Ignorance in the search for the self creates tension and attracts readers' attention to double meaning of the symbols. Hawthorne characterizes Faith as "Well, she's a blessed angel on earth; and after this one night I'll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven' (Hawthorne). The short story is based on allegorical elements which add emotional tension and pressure. It means that "the characters and objects in the story represent abstract ideas" ('More Symbolism' n.d.). ...Show more