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Young Goodman Brown is a short story written by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

The story is
about a man named Young Goodman Brown who has a meeting with a mysterious man who
turns out to be the Devil. During this meeting he discovers that his community is not as pious as
it seems. The story uses a variety of rhetorical devices and strategies but the two most noticeable
to myself were allusions and foreshadowing.
Allusions are a rhetorical device that makes indirect references to historical events, texts,
or characters outside of the story. Young Goodman Brown allusions were often related to the
Bible and Christianity in general. An example of this is when the mysterious man (Devil) replies
to Goodmans Brown request to return home, Hawthorne refers to him as he of the serpent (Pg.
2). This is a direct reference to the story of the talking snake, who was Lucifer in disguise, who
coaxed Eve to eat the fruit which resulted in the Original Sin. Another allusion in the story is
when Hawthorne is describing the Devil as he leads the congregation of Satanic worshipers. He
says that his tone of voice was almost sad with its despairing awfulness, as if his once angelic
nature could yet mourn for our miserable race (Pg. 8). The is referencing the origins of the
Devil in Christianity. As it goes, he was once an angel of God but he believed humans only love
God when times are good. So now his task is to show that he is correct by spreading evil and
make people lose faith in God. This story was Hawthornes way of attacking religious hypocrisy
during his time, so it makes sense that there is many allusions towards Christianity.
Next, I will be talking about foreshadowing in the story. Foreshadowing is when a phrase
or event gives an inkling of what happens later in the storyline. An example in the story is how
scared Goodman Browns wife, Faith, is of when Goodman Brown leaves to go meet the Devil.
She says Dearest heart prithee put off your journey until sunrise and sleep in your own bed
to-night. A lone woman is troubled with such dreams and such thoughts that shes afeard of
herself sometimes. Pray tarry with me this night...of all nights in the year making it clear to the
reader that something eventful will happen (Pg. 1). As we find later in the story, that night
becomes the most eventful nights in Goodman Browns life. Another example is the Devil
travelling with Goodman Brown says, I have a very general acquaintance here in New England.
The deacons of many a church have drunk the communion wine with me...make me their
chairman (Pg. 3). This tells the leader that the high religious figures in Goodman Browns
community may be involved with evil, assuming that the Devil is telling the truth. The reader
see the proof as they read on that everyone in the community is involved with the Devil, He
[Young Goodman Brown] recognized a score of the church members of Salem village famous for
their especial sanctity...It was strange to see the good shrank not from the wicked, nor were the
sinners bashed by the saints. Scattered also among their pale-faced enemies were the Indian
priests who had often scared their native forest with more hideous incantations than any
known to English witchcraft (Pg. 7).
Hawthornes Young Goodman Brown uses a variety of rhetorical devices but the two I
discussed were allusions and foreshadowing. Hawthorne does an excellent job of using both
well and clearly. They make the story clear, understandable, and more interesting.