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Young Goodman Brown - Importance Of Setting

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The setting in "Young Goodman Brown" plays an important role, it is the story of a man who ventures out to find the dark side of the Puritan town he lives in. The setting in the story provides symbolism to certain events and triggers emotions among the characters, especially those of Goodman Brown. As Goodman Brown ends his adventure, he realizes that many of the people before him have followed a path of evil, and that his town is not as pure and innocence as he thought.

The fact that the story takes place in Salem during a time when intolerance and suspicion were common is important. This adds to the theme because the loss of Goodman Brown's faith is a result of suspicion of evil in everyone and everything around him. The setting is historically significant because of the witch trials that took place in Salem during this time period. Therefore the setting suggests the idea of evil and witchcraft and isolation.

As the story begins, Goodman Brown sets out on his journey at sunset; the evening setting is symbolic of darkness and evil. Goodman Brown's wife, Faith asks him to wait until morning before he begins his journey, "pr'y thee, put off your journey until sunrise"(308). This is telling the reader that sunrise is a more pleasant time to go on a journey instead of at night when travelling is more dangerous. The evening travel setting is a warning that something horrible is going to occur. As Goodman Brown continues his journey he recalls his wife's dreams of his adventure and he feels anxious and uncertain as he walks through the woods. His surroundings are described as dark and gloomy, "He had taken a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest, which barely stood aside to the narrow path creep through, and closed immediately behind" (308). This description creates the feeling of fear and hesitance as continues on his way.

When Goodman Brown comes to the clearing in the woods, there are four trees on fires. They are described as "four blazing pines, their tops aflame, their stems untouched, like candles at an evening meeting"(315). This simile shows that even though the clearing was hell on earth, it reminded Goodman Brown of



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