Life Goes On

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Life Goes On
An important similarity between the reasons for the harassed and unhappy states of the protagonists at the end of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” and James Joyce’s “Araby” is the mental and emotional consequence of each protagonist’s quest. In the two stories the main protagonists are very naïve, an unexplainable force drives him, from within, to pursue a mission during which he learns a harsh lesson about life. Unfortunately, his wisdom is limited to his knowledge and personal experiences. Innocence and faith, plays a part in each character’s actions throughout, alone inside his own mind, struggling with his conscious thoughts and life’s reality. In the end, the protagonists’ quest alters his reality and leaves him despondent.
“Young Goodman Brown” (YGB) is about a man who strays from Faith, his wife, who is symbolically named representing his faith, to go to the woods where he meets a man. The man in the woods represents evil and could be considered the devil. The evil man expresses that there is a bit of evil in all of us. YGB becomes confused about his faith and as he continues his quest becomes angry. When all is said and done YGB is unsure if it was a dream or reality, “Had Goodman Brown fallen asleep in the forest and only dreamed a wild dream of a witch-meeting?”(Hawthorne). His “journey in the woods” leaves him judgmental, paranoid, and gloomy, as if everything he knows to be true is not so; his reality is never the same because his set of ideas has changed.
Throughout “Young Goodman Brown” he refers to his Faith/faith which could be interpreted as his wife Faith or his faith; nevertheless, he is uncommitted and strays. It is unknown where YGB is going but he is committed to his decision to proceed on his journey. Faith begs him not to go, saying "Dearest heart…prithee put off your journey” (Hawthorne). She is apprehensive, she mentions a dream she had but he does not obey. Young Goodman Brown insists, “My journey… must

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