ENGL 102: Literature and Composition
Spring D 2013
Crystal Gritton L24706101
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, “Young Goodman Brown”, he tells a parable of a Puritan who loses faith in man after he thinks he witnesses his wife and town members perform in a Black Mass. The experience ruins his view of good in people, and leaves him feeling distrustful lonely. The Lottery, by Shirley Jackson, is a short story about a village that has 300 towns’ members who have a yearly ritual of playing a lottery. Amongst friends and family, the people draw from the black box until Tessie Hutchinson picks the piece of paper with the black dot on it. She protests the unfairness of the ritual sacrifice till they all stone her to death. Both stories depict the evil in society and use irony, but they have different tones and symbols.
In Hawthorne’s short story, the tone is gloomy and demonic because of the suspense and anxiety that is portrayed throughout the story by the use of ironies and symbols, which can categorize the short story into an allegory. The entire story uses symbols; from the setting to the characters names and events. Faith, the wife’s name, is used as a symbol representing the good that is in the world and Goodman’s religious beliefs. When Young Goodman Brown sees that Faith has been tainted with evil, he shouts “My Faith is gone.” Another symbol is Young Goodman Brown’s name, which depicts the good nature in man. These two things intertwine throughout the story. Together, they represent the inner battle of good and evil.
The setting is used as a symbol as well. The setting takes place in Salem village with Goodman departing from his wife, walking along a “dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest…” (Kennedy & Gioia, 2010, p. 263). This is used to capture evil and danger in the setting. In the forest, he meets a “man” that is grave and in decent attire, which is...