Compare and Contrast Essay on The Scarlet Letter and Young Goodman Brown

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884 words
Carnegie Mellon University
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Literature review
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Generally, both Hawthorne's works novel Young Goodman Brown and The Scarlet Letter short story are identified to have been set in the colonies of the early American in the 17th century with the two stories focusing on the characters who were surviving in the Puritan society, one society which was recognized to be strict at that place and time. These two stories are identified to be appropriate and various similarities and comparisons can be raised from the two stories.

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Considering the Young Goodman Brown, it is important to note that the writer develops a critical narration on the journey through various furtive paths. Generally, the path is composed of wicked behavior and witches in the overall outskirts of a Puritan village. Through the general representation of their ideas, Young Goodman Brown developed a greater narration by creating a clear difference between evil and good hence letting creativeness prevail and great suspense that leaves the reader to be curious.

Sin Element in The Scarlet Letter and Young Goodman Brown

In The Scarlet Letter, the sin element is expressed in the story, however, the story is personified in the symbol by Hester Prynne, however, it is not in the forest. Comparatively, in both the stories, wood has been used by the writer to provide an explanation about a place and a platform that whispers the secrets of the town. By Goodman making use of the word woods, it is important to note that the words are used to demonstrate the general uncertainty as expressed of the town, with the general process exposing that the world is not as enjoyable as it was perceived earlier. On the other hand, in the Scarlet letter, it is clear that Hester got involved in the crime of passion in the woods and she ends up being convicted as the most peaceful in the world.

Hester is holding her Scarlet letter, using it as protection from a Puritan society that was viewed to be authoritative. Through such a symbol that was embarrassing, everything changed to be a source of encouragement to Hester, parading around the town. However, what is expressed in the story is that overconfidence attitude is realized in the nature of Hester as he fearlessly wears the symbol upon her chest, moreover, this happened as a result of his nature and the shining light to the community in which she was living in. As reported by Hawthorne, every character that exists in Salem where Godman is residing had followed the path that was leading to the mysterious woods where the end result was not as accepted. The general perception that has been developed about the woods is that the wood is evil and at the same time bad and in cases where there is a suggestion of which brew, the end result was all about clearing the wood by men in support of joyful women. However, in the case of Hester, the trip started as a result of adultery and in this case, the woods are identified to be a symbol of peace and a humble place where harmony is prevailing. It is identified as one of the best environments where any individual could take a walk just to have an encounter with nature.

Comparison of Hester and Goodman

Similarly, both Hester and Goodman go through a serious life event as they had one and one encounter in the woods. However, the general life approach as demonstrated by the two is quite distinctive and from every individual. For example, during the time when they were starting their journey, Goodman started his journey by losing almost everything that he was owning. However, Hester on the other side had nothing to lose. All the approaches that the two individuals adopted were totally different, and in the long run, the nature of their journey could realize their end result.

What young Goodman Brown had in mind before beginning his journey to the wood was that he was moving into the playground of the devil and from the start of the journey, he had already developed a negative attitude which was a sign of a bad approach in handling the mission. Basically, the negative attitude prevailed in the Mind of Goodman due to a high level of selfishness to explore and find out some of the mystery in the forest. Following his conscience, Goodman ran away from his faithful wife hence he ended up stupidly down the way to the way to inequity. Through his mission, the experience was not good since he experienced one of the worst attacks, demonstrating that men are not all the time living in acceptance or even practicing the side of altruism, however, the end result is always full of problems. On the other hand, Hester also ended up accepting the nature of the journey, however, he is viewed to have accepted that journey was the sin, however, Goodman is viewed to be running away from reality and the total truth. He ended up planning not to face the challenge again.


Conclusively, such an act of separation can be identified as a product of both weakness and strength at the same time in that both Goodman and Hester had to make one serious decision that made them separate themselves from human nature, without receiving intimidation.

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