Analysis Of Young Goodman Brown And Shirley Jackson's The Lottery

2014 Words 9 Pages
From the beginning of time there has been sin and corruption, a carnal being within every man. It is first evident in the Garden of Eden, Genesis 3, when Eve is tempted by the snake, and then even more so when the murderous act of Cain is revealed in Genesis 4 (KJV). Then in Genesis 6:12 scripture tells us that “God looked upon the earth and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth” (KJV). Consequently, the pull that seems to be within humankind, offers a base for the works of writers such as Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, “Young Goodman Brown” and Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.” In considering the theme, the idea evident in literary writings, upon which Hawthorne based his piece, one may find themselves seeing …show more content…
First, we see that Nathaniel successfully revealed his position on faith through the use of symbols, “a person, place, or thing that suggests more than its literal meaning” (Kennedy & Gioia, 2016, p.201). Reflect upon Goodman Brown’s interactions with Faith and the Devil if you will. These two are not mere characters in the narrative, but are representations of moral characteristics. As “Faith” is left behind in the storyline, Brown joins the Devil in the woods (Hawthorne, 1845, p.188). Obviously, while these are characters in the writing, they are equally symbols, thus emblematic of the rejection of faith that leads to a walk with corruption. Additionally, take note of the pink ribbon that Faith wears, as it is a representation of her innocence. This symbol is first noticed at the stories start, as she let “the wind play” with her innocence (Hawthorne, 1845, p.188). Then the ribbon is mentioned again as Brown “seized it” after the wind carried it to the branch of a tree, signifying the loss of her innocence (Hawthorne, 1845, p. 193). And lastly, as the story ends, Brown “turning the corner” spies “Faith, with the pink ribbons” still upon her, thus revealing that her innocence remained (Hawthorne, 1845, p. 196). Consequently, though her innocence was still intact, the dream which had led him to the knowledge of the deficiencies in those he …show more content…
221). Despite the loss of many of the technicalities along the way, the town blindly follows this “ritual,” as it has been corrupted and led to a place of obedience rather than self-seeking (Jackson, 1948, p. 222). Next comes the stones, which evidently signifies death, which is to come, they all gathered stones, filling their “pockets” (Jackson, 1948, p. 221). Even the three boys who had “made a great pile” which they guarded, was symbolic, in that they are guarding their own deaths, not wanting the stones which they had collected to be used against them, yet still they would aimlessly follow that crowd to take another life (Jackson, 1948, p. 221). As one continues on, they discover a “black box,” which has been replaced and only holds “some pieces” of the old box, symbolic of the rituals that have fallen away, while a small part of them remains, the actual lottery and resulting murder (Jackson, 1948, p.

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