• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In “Young Goodman Brown,” Hawthorne uses the symbols of Goodman Brown, the people he meets in the forest, and the drop of dew that falls upon his cheek to develop the theme of hypocrisy.

Extracts from this document...


Alex Johnson Buchanan LA 398 13 December 2001 Thesis statement: In "Young Goodman Brown," Hawthorne uses the symbols of Goodman Brown, the people he meets in the forest, and the drop of dew that falls upon his cheek to develop the theme of hypocrisy. One symbol that helps develop the theme of hypocrisy in Puritan society is the symbol of Goodman Brown. His first name is Goodman, which refers that Brown is a good person. However, his last name is Brown. Brown symbolizes "dead leaves, autumn, and melancholy," which has negative connotations (Chevalier 127). Therefore, Goodman Brown is internally evil. In the beginning of "Young Goodman Brown", Goodman Brown leaves his wife, Faith, who represents Goodman Brown's religious faith and moral beliefs. Instead of remaining with her, Brown embarks "on his evil purpose [onto] a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest" (Hawthorne 1). Goodman Brown is hypocritical of himself by deserting his faith and journeying on a path of evil. On his journey, Brown encounters the Devil. As they walk together, Goodman Brown boasts about his relatives and their righteousness. ...read more.


As the church sings its holy psalms, Brown "could not listen because an anthem of sin rushed loudly upon his ear and browned all the blessed strain" (Hawthorne 6). Brown is unable to hear the holy psalms because evil is inept to hear goodness. Brown attends church for his outward appearance, yet is hypocritical of himself because he is unable to learn anything due to his evil. Goodman Brown represents the ordinary Christian with internal evil in "Young Goodman Brown". Another symbol of the hypocrisy within Puritan culture is the people, which Goodman Brown encounters on his evil quest. He meets various people, who are innocent people in society, but display evil when Brown faces them on his journey. After meeting the Devil, Goodman Brown and the Devil approach Goody Cloyse, who teaches Brown his catechism as a child. By teaching catechism, Goody Cloyse appears to be a good, religious, woman to society. However, she prays to the Devil in the forest, the place of evil. ...read more.


The fire symbolizes the "rites of passage" (Chevalier 380). Therefore, the branch on fire where the dew came from represents the logic and rebirth into the passage into good. The dew symbolizes the "cleansing and centre of regeneration" (Chevalier 1081). The drop of dew is similar to the drop of holy water on the head in Baptism. In a Baptism, the water purifies the person. However, the drop of water falls upon Goodman Brown's cheek instead of hi head. The drop of dew changes Goodman Brown, but is unable to purify him into righteousness. Goodman Brown believes that he changes, however, he remains the same hypocritical Goodman Brown. In town the next morning, Goodman Brown sees himself as a better person because he resists the Devil's temptations. However, the dew passes him into evil, instead of purification. Goodman Brown is unable to appreciate church the following morning. During prayer, "he scowled and muttered to himself," showing little respect to his faith (Hawthorne 6). By being disrespectful in church, Goodman Brown displays his evil. The drop of dew of Goodman Brown's cheek displays the theme of hypocrisy because Goodman Brown's evil remains. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Places of Worship section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Places of Worship essays

  1. Explore the presentation of the theme of religion in "Angela's Ashes"

    For example, the rejection of Frank by the Christian Brothers due to his unfavourable position in society; his poverty and lack of education, is an example of the church acting contrary to the beliefs preached by the religion. The following quote shows the rejection: "We don't have any room for

  2. Holy Communion.

    They gave the gifts of: * Gold- kingship of Christ, the King of Kings * Frankincense- his deity and Priesthood * Myrrh- his healing powers & to his sacrificial death These were prophetic gifts, which told of the coming works of Jesus.

  1. Write a brief critical introduction to the book of Psalms.

    Wilson 1999, p. 5). Historicity and attributed authorship There is strong evidence that not only the Psalms as a collection, but also individual psalms, were open to adaptation during the entire Old Testament period. In addition, psalms were not simply added to the end of the collection as they were developed, but apparently interwoven.

  2. “The Mass is not for young people.” - Do you agree?

    After mass they feel cleansed, wanted and someone special. Many young people are true Christians and are willing to go to mass as they have sincerity and loyalty to the church. They may want to meet the Christian demands by coming together to re-enact The Last Supper. Others may wish to carry on family tradition or have been brought up to go.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work