Short Story Compare/Contrast

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Fiction Essay

ENGL 102: Composition and Literature

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THESIS: In “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell and “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, imagery and characterization are employed to illustrate the ever present inner darkness of humanity. However, the authors set very different themes in how their protagonists reflect upon and respond to being faced with it. Both men must choose whether they will reject and confront evil or simply abide it with apathy.

I. The dark imagery used in both stories convert evil into a nearly tangible entity. a. The lack of visibility in these stories corresponds to the fear felt by both men. b. The dense jungle/forest instills a sense of chaos that disallows either man to tread a safe path.

II. The antagonists of these stories are both characterized as incarnate evil, however, each exhibit deceptively likable traits. c. General Zaroff and old Goodman Brown are both very friendly, accommodating, intelligent and well spoken. d. Rainsford and young Goodman Brown are both wooed and encouraged by their respective villains to join them willingly.

III. Rainsford and young Goodman Brown both resist the impending darkness, yet the final disposition of each set very different themes. e. Both men attempt to flee from their dark companions until they realize the futility of their efforts. f. Rainsford is firm in this contempt of the evil presented to him and demonstrates how a person can confront and overcome evil. g. Young Goodman Brown chooses to accept man’s dark nature with a sense of inevitability and malaise.

The Short Story: A Comparison and Contrast of
“Young Goodman Brown” and “The Most Dangerous Game”

In “The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell and “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, imagery and characterization are employed to illustrate the ever present inner darkness of humanity. However, the authors set very different



Cited: Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “Young Goodman Brown.” Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Sixth ed. Ed. Kennedy, X.J. and Dana Gioia. New York, NY: Pearson, 2010. 263-71. Print. Connell, Richard. “The Most Dangerous Game.” ENGL 102: Composition and Literature. Liberty University, n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2011

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