A Comparison Of "Young Goodman Brown" And “A Goodman Is Hard To Find”

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade September 2001

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True evil is more than an emotion or an act; it is an existence that encompasses ones complete being. Many authors try to depict evil but never capture the full essence of it. The stories of "Young Goodman Brown"� by Nathaniel Hawthorne and "A Goodman is Hard to Find"� by Flannery O' Connor clearly illustrate pure evil.

Contained in both stories is an issue where evil is present. The evil that exposes the characters in the pieces is very different but effective. During these situations the characters alter their facades to reveal their true selves. It might even be said that the theme for these works is how the worst situation leads us to a quest of self discovery. This thought brings us to the idea that, sometimes evil has to become evident in order for us to truly understand ourselves and others. Within the story of "Young Goodman Brown"�, Hawthorne uses the image of Satan, in human form to represent evil.

This kind faced Satan rapidly exhibits the evil among the people in the town of Salem. The character quickly reveals the true nature of the towns people by blatantly stating it. This vast amount of information can not be fully comprehended by Goodman Brown. In his situation Brown could not accept the flaws he was presented with and could see nothing but evil in himself and others. This sudden realization of evil brought down his previously "pure"� disposition, Brown was nothing but evil himself.

Throughout "A Goodman is Hard to Find"� an important character of evil is introduced: the Misfit. The Misfit uses a tragic circumstance to reveal the true characters of the family. The realization of the family members is not entirely a conscience thought, but an unconscious one. This family is placed...