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In the short story Young Goodman Brown written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the settings play a major role in the story. The significance of the setting start right off in the Village of Salem and lead us into the journey of the woods, where are character Goodman Brown has an experience that will change his life forever. There are many factors that makes this story a good one. The settings are one of those factors. Often writers have to go through elaborate detail of the surroundings in order to get the readers to envision the setting. Mr.
Hawthorne is able to create this vision with use of words from the opening line; Young Goodman Brown came forth at sunset into the street of Salem Village. When we think of Salem the first thoughts are of the Salem witch trials that were held in the 1600 s. These were the trials of servants of the Puritans who were believed to be witches because the practiced different beliefs and religions. This starts the mood to the story, knowing the history. The woods are another great factor of setting for the story. The woods symbolize dreariness darkness and the terror of the unknown.
The fact that most of the story is in the woods puts us in this queasiness state to relate to what is happening. We have to picture Goodman Brown starting off his journey only to adventure on to meet up with a dark figure who we come to find out is the devil himself. As the two continue their journey they go deeper into the woods as darkness is taking over now. Until the end of Brown's journey where the woods have become the setting for some satanic ritual that includes some of the townspeople. These people play a key role in Goodman Browns life they are Goody Close, Deacon Goon and Browns innocent wife Faith. In conclusion Nathaniel Hawthorne shows us through Young Goodman Brown how a setting plays such a major role in a story.
The setting also makes the story unique to each individual reader, depending how it is interpreted. For example, readers of Young Goodman Brown, would have to have had knowledge of the history of Salem otherwise, the story would not be as eerie. The setting of each story is different and has different meaning depending on the reader although the words are the same. Bibliography:
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Research essay sample on Young Goodman Brown Nathaniel Hawthorne