English / A Compare And Contrast For “Young Goodman Brown”

A Compare And Contrast For “Young Goodman Brown”

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Autor:  anton  30 December 2010
Tags:  Compare,  Contrast,  Goodman
Words: 752   |   Pages: 4
Views: 920

Cheating, lying, stealing, murder, and adultery. In today’s world, these are all things that are very common occurrences in society. These are all sins. Sins that almost everyone commits, but is willing to try and “cover them up” in some shape or form. For most human beings committing a sin brings guilt along with it. In Nathaniel Hawthorn’s short stories “Young Goodman Brown” and “The Minister’s Black Veil”, both the main characters Mr. Hooper and Goodman Brown carry guilt because of a sin that they have committed.

In “The Minister’s Black Veil”, the main character Mr. Hooper, who at first was a well liked minister throughout his town. Mr. Hooper had many good friends and followers and an assumed soon to be wife. At church he gave very good and meaningful sermons and was just a well respected person. All of that changed when he showed up to church one Sunday with a black veil on that covered up most of his face. “There was one thing remarkable in his appearance. Swathed about his forehead, and hanging down over his face, so low as to be shaken by his breath, Mr. Hooper had on a black veil.” (Bedsford Introduction to Literature, P. 393.) The way people looked at him would never be the same.

The black veil on Mr. Hooper’s face was a symbol for trying to cover up a sin or sins. Whether or not it is to cover up his or everyone else’s is never told, but by him wearing this black veil caused him to be very secluded from his congregation and caused a lot of talk and gossip around the town. Even after years of wearing it, while lying on his death bed he still would not take it off. “Still veiled, they laid him in his coffin, and a veiled corpse they bore him to the grave” (p. 401) This just showed how strong Mr. Hooper felt about the veil and its significant meaning. That everyone sins and tries to but them but that sin will remain with them forever.

In Nathaniel Hawthorn’s short story “Young Goodman Brown”, the main character Goodman Brown also has guilt of a sin which leads to his eventual death. It all starts when Goodman Brown’s wife Faith tells him that she really does not want him to go on his trip into the forest, and to stay in bed that night with her. He goes anyway. This trip will lead to the guilt that Goodman Brown will feel for the rest of his life. Goodman Brown goes into the forest to meet a man which we later find out is the devil. He was late because his wife had kept him in town. “You are late Goodman Brown.” (p.383) He replies “Faith kept me back” (p.383), which is ironic because his wife Faith really kept him back that day, but his religious faith also kept him from confronting the devil previously. Goodman Brown follows the man or devil through the forest which leads to an open field. This is presumed to resemble The Garden of Eden. He sees the whole town there including his wife worshiping the devil. On his return to the town, Goodman Brown cannot look at anyone. The life that he knew before this journey was over and would never be the same. He didn’t go to church or talk to barely anyone because of his guilt for going to worship the devil. When he died, “there was no hopeful verse upon his tombstone for his dying hour was gloom” (p. 391) This is like the “The Minister’s Black Veil” showing that someone must live and breathe everyday knowing of the sin that they have committed.

In both these stories “The Minister’s Black Veil” and “Young Goodman Brown”, a man has so much burden of guilt upon his chest that it leads to a sorrowful death. Both men sinned and dealt with it in a hard way. They both tried to hide or deal with it in different ways, but the sin was still inside them. Today there are many different ways that people go about trying to get rid of their sins. They will go to confessional booths, go to church, pray, and many more ways. The bible says that God will forgive, but one must never worship evil or the devil. This saying helps people out in a way, but inside that person still knows what they have done and will always have to deal with the guilt of it.

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