Professor No name
11 February 2011
Comparison and Contrast Within Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” and James Joyce’s “Araby.”
The short stories "Araby," by James Joyce and "Young Goodman Brown," by Nathaniel Hawthorne are both stories about change; however both characters change in very different ways. Organized religion imposes a rebut of prescribed behavior on natural curiosity and growth and in turn causes one to seek it out on there own. In "Araby" an unnamed young boy of about twelve or thirteen depicts his personal coming of age. Due to strong religious obligations, sexuality was greatly repressed during the time of this story. "Young Goodman Brown" tells the tale of a young Puritan man drawn into a covenant with the Devil. Brown's illusions about the goodness of his society are crushed when he discovers that many of his fellow townspeople, including religious leaders and his wife, are attending a Black Mass. Allusions Goodman Brown had witnessed may have or not been real, but changed his life completely.
The character in "Araby" was fascinated by what love was like. He read "The Abbot" by Walter Scott, which was a popular romance. The Devout Communicant was also noted as one of his favorite books. This book was a Catholic religious manual that set forth guidelines for his faith. The fact that Joyce mentioned both of these books aids in foreshadowing and revelation of his dilemma. He is a young boy coming to an age of confusion of the opposite sex. The boy seems to create a sexual image of the girl each time he sees her, describing the "white border of a petticoat, just visible as she stood at ease" (92). This idea was vividly sketched in the paragraph which states, “All my senses seemed to desire to veil themselves and, feeling that I was about to slip from them, I pressed the palms of my hands together until they trembled, murmuring O love! O love! Many times.” (92). The intense sexual undertones of this passage are...