Compare And Contrast Scarlet Letter And Young Goodman Brown

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When examining The Scarlet Letter and “Young Goodman Brown,” there are similarities and differences in regards to how Hawthorne presents and tells of witchcraft and Satanic influence and activity. For starters, the forest is perceived to be the center of satanic activities, and it is the place where townspeople go to meet with the devil in both stories. There is also an overall recognition and acceptance of the existence of witches by all of the characters mentioned in the stories. However, there are multiple differences that arise when examining both of Hawthorne’s works. The first difference is found in the name that is used to talk about Satan. In “Young Goodman Brown,” he is called the devil or he of the serpent, whereas in The Scarlet …show more content…
Similarly, Goodman Brown refuses to go any further into the forest with his devil guide because he desperately wants to return to Faith with a clear conscience, and he does not want to ever lose her. Moreover, as Goodman Brown is walking into to the forest, he begins to fear that, “there may be a devilish Indian behind every tree…” (Hawthorne, Young 179). The story continues the connection between Indians and witchcraft that is almost non-existent in The Scarlet Letter when it says, “ Scattered, also, among their pale-faced enemies, were the Indian priests or powows, who had often scared their native forest with more hideous incantations than any known to English witchcraft…” (Hawthorne 185). The one time that witchcraft and Indians are connected in The Scarlet Letter is towards the beginning when Hester first recognizes a man in Indian garb in the crowd while she was standing on the scaffold who turned out to be “… Satan’s emissary, in the guise of old Roger Chillingworth…” (Hawthorne …show more content…
However, lack of repentance of any sin, or a repeated offense of a confessed sin was equally harmful because living a life of unrepentance continually separated sinners from God. This lifestyle also, “…prevents reconciliation and healing…” (Taylor 143). because there is no remorse for the sin committed, or there is a lack of recognition of the sin which ultimately prevents restoration. The detrimental effects of secret, unconfessed sin are well represented in The Scarlet Letter through Dimmesdale. His failing health became an outward representation of his sinful heart, and he was plagued by guilt throughout the book because he lived a life devoid of repentance. By the end of The Scarlet Letter, Dimmesdale realizes that he can no longer live under the burden of his secret sin, so he confesses it with his last breath before God and all of the townspeople. Committing adultery with Hester Prynne was definitely seen as one of the vilest sins in the Puritan community, and Dimmesdale would have faced punishment similar to the sentencing of Hester; however, living with the guilt of his unconfessed sin destroyed him and pushed him away from God with no hope of

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