Similar Symbolisms Between "The Devil and Tom Walker" and "Young Goodman Brown"

Topics: Young Goodman Brown, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Short story Pages: 2 (793 words) Published: November 13, 2006
During the era of the Puritans, a new structure of literacy, American Romanticism, reformed and brought freedom of imagination to two specific writers: Washington Irving and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Even though Irving's "The Devil and Tom Walker" and Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" revealed differential aspects of literature, they still employed similarities through mystifying symbols and the exemplary diction it implies. Although they reveal their themes in an opposing matter, both Irving and Hawthorne use a similar rhetorical device to clarify the relation in their meaning of the paths and the significance of the devil.

First of all, Irving and Hawthorne both use a symbolic gist to slowly detail the pathways in their short stories. In Irving's "The D&TW," Walker saunters through the "ill-chosen route" into the "treacherous forest" that leads him into his sinful journey. Because of all his misery due to his termagant, fiercely wife, a "forlorn-looking house," and "an air of starvation," this short cut that he took signified a path that leads him away from all wretchedness and into the glorious light. Though it would soon be covered with the darkness of greed and evil, Walker risked the loss of his soul for the temporary phase of richness. Because of all the wealth he obtained as he was aging, his understanding of losing everything he gained to the devil illuminated in his mind and soon regretted his bargain. Thus, the story articulates prophesy of the pathway to the conclusion of losing his essence to gluttony cravings.

Like Irving, Hawthorne's "YGB," exploits a lonely trail that is "darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest" (62) in which leads him away from the dream realm to authenticity. Though Goodman's "dreary road" differs from Walker's neglected route, Goodman also ambles through a path "concealed by…the thick boughs overhead," leading him to immorality. During his walk on the path, he encounters bumps on the road that curve his way into his...
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