A Tale Of Evil Essay, Research Paper
Nathaniel Hawthorne is considered by many a great writer. Hawthorne’s use of imagery captures the reader’s attention and holds it throughout the story, such as the reader will experience in the tale of Young Goodman Brown. In the fable of Young Goodman Brown the reader is thrown into a twist of good versus evil. Hawthorne portrays evil in his choice of words which describe the forest and the old man with the staff.
The first mention of the forest leads the reader to believe Brown in walking into evil. Hawthorne writes:
He had taken a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest, which barely stood aside to let the narrow path creep through, and closed immediately behind. It was all as lonely as could be; and there is this peculiarity in such a solitude, that the traveler knows not who may be concealed by the innumerable trunks and the thick boughs overhead; such that, with lonely footsteps, he may yet be passing through an unseen multitude. (614)
In many books, when one reads of dark and lonely places, the reader thinks of evil coming.
Another mention in Young Goodman Brown that leads the reader to believe there is a hint of evil is the description of the old man and his staff. The man is said to be dressed in “grave and decent attire” and the he had an aura about him which was of a person who knew the world. Although there is little that describes the man, Hawthorne focuses the reader’s attention to the staff carried by the old man. The staff, Hawthorne writes, “bore the likeness of a great black snake, …., like a living serpent.” Many perceive snakes to be a symbol of evil.
As one can see, Hawthorne’s choice of words lead the reader to believe that there is evil in the tale of Young Goodman Brown. In the beginning of the story the audience is introduced into a forest of dark and loneliness. The reader is then introduced to a man who appears to be the devil himself. Hawthorne’s use of imagery is what keeps the audience reading.