Young Goodman Brown Comparison Essay

Compare and Contrast Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne and The Lottery Shirley Jackson

The authors, Shirley Jackson and Nathaniel Hawthorne, both frequently use symbols within their stories 'The Lottery' and 'Young Goodman Brown.' Symbols are utilized as an enhancement tool to stress the theme of each story. Hawthorne uses names and objects to enhance the theme, and Jackson mainly utilizes names to stress the theme, although she does have one object as a symbol of great importance to the theme. The stories both contain symbols describing evil. The majority of Hawthorne's symbols describe religion (both good and evil), but Jackson's symbols reflect the evil nature within society as a whole. There exists symbolic acts in each story. The short stories both share the use of symbols, but the symbols are used to express different thoughts in ones mind while reading them.

The stories 'Young Goodman Brown' and 'The Lottery' both use names as symbols. Hawthorne uses the names Young Goodman Brown and Faith to portray nice, descent people. The name Faith alone implies a faithful and Christian individual as stated 'And Faith, as the wife was aptly named,' (211). Jackson uses the name Mr. Graves throughout her story, he is the coordinator of the lottery. She needs not give any explanation to the name, as it speaks for itself (a symbol of death). Various other names are used as symbols within each story, however, these mentioned are the most significant names to the theme. The stories each contain names, objects, and acts as important symbols.

Hawthorne uses the names to stress good people, but relies heavily on objects to portray Satanism. The object of obvious Satanism is the staff (a cane) mentioned throughout the story. It is clearly identified when the old traveler throws it down in the sentence 'it assumed life, being one of the rods which its owner had formerly lent to the Egyptian Magi' (215). According to the Bible. sorcerers with magic powers change their rods into serpents. Jackson uses the black box throughout her story as a symbol of tradition not to be changed as stated 'Every year, after the lottery, Mr. Summers began talking about a new box, but every year the subject was allowed to fade off without anything's being done' (249). The fact it is an old black wore out box puts evil thoughts in ones mind while reading the story. The symbolic objects in each story differ, Hawthorne's are to show Satanism, rather than the evil in people as Jackson's shows.

After reading Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown," I was appalled. I developed an immediate distaste for the story. One might question then, why did I choose it to critically analyze? And my answer to that is simply because I kept wondering why it had such an effect on me. Furthermore, I was motivated to find out what part of Hawthorne's writing got to me so. Through evaluating the story's strengths and weaknesses, I found that the character sketch of Young Goodman Brown most effectively portrayed ...

Character Comparison of “Young Goodman Brown” and the “Lottery”

967 WordsJul 26th, 20124 Pages

Character Comparison of “Young Goodman Brown” and the “Lottery”

Mathew Speakman

English 102
Professor Katie Robinson
July 15, 2012

Thesis Statement:
In Nathaniel Hawthorne's “Young Goodman Brown” and Shirley Jackson's “The Lottery”, we are given a picture of seemingly normal people who are capable of incredible evil.

Opening mood in both stories a. Goodman Brown's sets out on a walk in the forest, but knows that evil awaits him. b. The townspeople act nonchalant, but pile up stones and behave with nervous tension.
Action of characters a. The characters were influenced by their ancestors and peers, and did not follow their convictions. b. They were unwilling to step out…show more content…

Strangely, the children are piling up stones and the men are especially stern. There is a feeling of nervousness in the air, as if something terrible is going to happen. Both stories, despite their everyday beginnings, elude to an outcome much more sinister. The character's actions reveal their hesitation toward change and willingness to commit evil. Instead of relying on their own convictions, the characters allow the actions of their ancestors and peers to influence their own path. Despite a mounting anxiety over evil being perpetrated, they crumble under the pressure of the majority. Several times in “The Lottery”, someone makes mention of “giving up the lottery.” Just the suggestion is met with
Speakman 2 fierce opposition from the old man of the town. Goodman Brown decides to “stand firm against the Devil”, but ultimately he presses on in the path toward sin. These characters are not willing to be the first to stand up against obvious injustices. They choose to continue down the path of those who came before them. In “The Lottery”, the downfall of the townspeople is following tradition. It is mentioned several times that many details of the lottery's ritual have been lost, but the lottery itself remains. Jackson writes, “no one liked to upset even as much tradition as was represented by the black box.” Old Man Warner scolds some of the townspeople, calling them

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