Compare both stories in terms of the representation of evil
The characters in the short stories, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” by Flannery O’Connor and “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne allow their existence to be transformed by evil threats. The diversion taken by a family in “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” causes mayhem, while at the same time, the wrong turn in “Young Goodman Brown” directs him to misery. It is evident that Brown, Misfit and the Grandmother differ on the way they handle evil. Nevertheless, these characters go astray resulting to isolation from the society. In both stories, evil is represented by journeys ends up in the erroneous path.
The purpose of symbolism in the stories exemplifies the absence of faith and death. An example of such a case is Brown, who discovers the existence of evil makes an individual perceives the universe in a very skeptical way. With this notion, Brown feels the emptiness since he is confused when he decides to live a life without acknowledging God and allows deceit from the Satan. Therefore, he is unable to escape the wrath and presence of the devil. Additionally, the grandmother believes that she is moral with a virtuous character despite the fact that her family declines due to her habit. Moreover, The Misfit portrays himself as an evil man who kills intentionally. He does not see the goodness of life due to perceptions that make him evil.
The two stories demonstrate the extent of evil in religious behavior. In the beginning, the characters in both stories have a good relationship with God but this change afterwards. In the progressive journey, it is a tragedy when evil transforms live in a way that good cannot be reversed. Though the stories are expressed in diverse ways, they illustrate how evil sneaks into the lives of people who abandon the Christian faith.
The story in O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find," starts when the family is planning to visit Florida. The acts of the grandmother are unscrupulous since she never holds a valuable life but wishes to live in her past. The malicious grandmother says , "People are certainly not nice like they used to be" (455). The grandmother prefers to visit Tennessee to Florida. She tries to convince her family to change the initial plans since The Misfit was headed to Florida. Unfortunately, the grandmother fails in her persuasion and her family heads in the same direction with the Misfit. In the "Young Goodman Brown," Brown refuses to follow her wife’s advice and follows his own path. As he creeps into the forest, he says , "Faith kept me back awhile" (265). This quote symbolizes how Faith delayed his travel and the wife’s faith in God postponed the journey. As he heads in the thick forest, Satan welcomes him by luring him into the world of darkness. Brown faith remains doubtful as the devil propels him a deceptive vision that shows the good people all over him embedded in a terrible ritual. In both stories, the characters set off their journeys to search for happiness. Unluckily, they come across evil and their lives changes forever.
Despite the stories beginning with a joyous mood, evil is dominant and prevalent in many ways. When the family is finding the plantation in "A Good Man is Hard to Find," the family is destined towards Toombsboro, a town that symbolically means a tomb’s burial. When the family turns on the side road, they experience wreckage. Coincidentally, the truck stop by the roadside to help them out and it happens that the Misfit was among the people in the truck.
After the grandmother recognizes The Misfit, she dreadfully attempts to “save” him, asking him to pray for several times. As he refuses any help, The Misfit put blames on Jesus for all the misfortunes of his life. "Jesus has thrown everything off balance. It was the same case with Him as with me except He had not committed any crime and they could prove I had" (461).
In both stories, the characters refer to the darkness up in the sky. The Misfit says, "Ain't a cloud in the sky. Don't see no sun but don't see no cloud neither" (458). In contrast, Brown watches up the heaven saying his prayers when the appearance of a dark cloud is observed instead of light from the sun. The darkness symbolizes the doubts in the people. Moreover, Brown diverges from the path of righteousness and this is a symbol of the evil path. At the forest, Brown observed the witches conducting meetings aimed at inflicting the evil unity to the villagers. He fears that Faith’s voice was fading surrendering to the darkness. Young Goodman Brown yells, "My Faith is gone!"(270). Such occurrences foreshadow evil, which will lead to spiritual or physical death. In conclusion, both stories represent evil and the consequences of it to the characters. The authors explain the incidences in a simple manner, easy to be understood.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel, and Basil Rathbone. Young Goodman Brown. Guildford: Saland Publishing, 2011. Print.
O'Connor, Flannery. A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories. San Diego, Calif: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1983. Print.