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Characterization and Symbolism - Essay Example

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In his short story “Young Goodman Brown, Hawthorne speaks about search for truth and morality, a conflict between sin, evil and faith. Thesis In this short…
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Characterization and Symbolism

Hawthorne writes “And Faith, as the wife was aptly named, thrust her own pretty head into the street, letting the wind play with the pink ribbons of her cap while she called to Goodman Brown” (Hawthorne). 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 devils 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, shes a blessed angel on earth; and after this one night Ill 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.). Beauchamp (38) these symbols fresh and vivid, and are used to intensify, to clarify, to enrich the atmosphere; these symbols helps to make readers fed the writers grasp of the characters and situation he is dealing with, gives his grasp of it with precision, vividness, force, economy; and to make such an impact on readers, its content, the stuff of which It is made, cannot be unduly fantastic and remote from readers’ experience.
The remarkable feature of Hawthorne’s style is the symbolic use of settings. The setting of ‘dark forest’ can be interpreted as dark human nature and mind. This symbol allows the author to create a unique atmosphere of the short story and feeling of horror. “He had taken a dreary road, ... Read More
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