English Composition I
11 November 2012
Where Are You Going, Goodman Brown?
Temptation is a universal theme shown throughout both of the stories. Nathaniel Hawthorn’s “Young Goodman brown,” a story about a man being tempted to go on an errand to find the devil in the woods, and Carol Oates’ “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” a story about a girl resisting being hurt or abducted by a strange man, are similar stories. They had characters that played an innocent role, had seducers, and had mysterious ending that were left untold.
In “Young Goodman Brown,” Brown had good intentions. He thought twice about going deeper into the forest. He said, “Too far! Too far! My father never went into the woods on such an errand, nor his father before him” (Hawthorne 3). He also never wanted to hurt his wife, Faith. While trying to resist going any farther into the woods he said, “It would break her dear little heart; and I’d rather break my own” (4). On the same note, in “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been,” Connie was an innocent girl minding her own business when someone drove in her driveway one afternoon. When she was offered a ride with a stranger, she refused by telling the man she didn’t know who he was and he needed to leave. She told him, “I have things to do” (Oates 375) and threatened to call the police. Both characters started off not meaning to be bad people or do anything wrong.
In both stories, there was a person who seduced the innocent characters to do bad things. In “Young Goodman Brown,” the strange man that Brown first saw sitting by the tree taunted him and persuaded Brown to keep following him into the woods. When Brown said his father and grandfather would never do such a bad thing, the man came back and said, “I helped your grandfather when he lashed the Quaker woman so smartly through the streets of Salem; and it was I that brought your father a pitch-pine know, kindled at my own hearth, to set fire to an...