The two stories “Araby” and “Young Goodman Brown”
- Pages: 4
- Word count: 996
- Category: Araby Short Story Young Goodman Brown
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In Certainty, the two stories “Araby” by James Joyce and “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne are both stories about change. These stories manage the understanding of growing up and recognition of the truth, Joyce shows the maturation of a young boy into a man, while Hawthorne tells about a man who has started realizing the realities about his surroundings and himself, however, change with life of both characters can be seen towards the end of the stories. The stories “Araby” and “Young Goodman Brown” have similar and distinct qualities.
The journeys how they both got to point of change, how religion obligates them to make the decision, and anger in both stories is the common ground among the protagonists. The young unnamed boy in the “Araby” portrays his own coming of age, due to strict religious obligations, sexuality was repressed at the time of story. The boy was fascinated by what love felt like, he read “The Abbot” by Walter Scott, which was popular romance at the time and the Devout Communicant was also said to be one of his likings, which was a religious manual.
The point that Joyce referred both books supports in the foreshadowing of his dilemma. He is a young boy coming to an age of confusion of the opposite sex. The boy seems to picture an image of the girl who lives across the street, every time he looks at her, describing the “white border of a petticoat, just visible as she stood at ease. ” (Page 171), This idea was brightly drawn 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. (Page 170)” The intense physical undertones of this clause are immediately detectable and portray the boys’ confusion of religion and sexuality. The young boy wanted to go to the bazar with the girl across the street but the aunt of the boy in “Araby” did not endorse the boy’s pursuit. She recommended him not to go to the bazaar that late in the night. Again, at this point religion is noted when she says “I am afraid you may put off your Bazaar for the night of our Lord. “(Page 172) The boy then runs down the stairs closing his fists and he becomes obvious frustrated with his religion.
James Joyce labels the street in terms of vision. He refers the street and its people “blind. ” Possibly they are blinded by religion. He also discusses that he is “free” when he leaves class. His pursuit for a gift for Mangan’s sister is like his freedom from his religion for a night, what he came to find out what was that the love and the world outside of religion were not at all what he had imagined it to be. The boy in “Araby” was nameless which may signify that it symbolizes more than one person.
Many children during this period of time go through this same feeling of guilt for being attracted to the opposite sex. The boy expresses this feeling when he states, “Her image accompanied me in places the most hostile to romance”. The boy feels guilty and angry in thinking about Mangan’s sister. It could be the Religion that made the feelings he had was wrong having. Religion kept him from being with the girl. The girl is also frustrated as she “turned a silver bracelet round and round her wrist. She could not go because there would be a retreat in a couple weeks.” (page 171)
The boy’s frustrations were more driven than Young Goodman Browns. “Young Goodman Brown” tells the tale of a young Puritan man strained into a covenant with the Devil. Brown’s illusions of the integrity of his society are crumpled when he learns that many of his fellow townsfolk, with religious leaders and his wife, are attending a Black Mass. The Allusions that Goodman Brown had observed may have or not be actual, but it did change his life completely, but he did lose faith in his religion.
For example, Mr.Brown loses Faith when he enters the dark woods with the creepy man that strides with a serpent-staff. This is an allusion to the loss of his ethical faith when he chooses to experience evil. At the time when Young Goodman Brown is entering towards the forest, he says to himself, “What if the devil himself should be at my very elbow! ” Even though he understands the hazards of the forest he still enters. The temptation and his curiosity could not have been withheld by his religion. As with Goodman Brown like the young boy in “Araby”, he also has pursuits for reaching out for different results.
It can be assumed that he was seeking sexual enlightenment from his wife. He is clearly looking for something more as he continuously pursuits for freedom and knowledge. The Puritan religion has very strict rules about prayer and sexuality. The pink ribbons can be a symbol that his wife might not have reached her women hood yet. He was obviously searching for something. “Having kept covenant by meeting thee here, it is my purpose now to return whence I came. I have scruples, touching the matter thou wot’st of”. It seems this “covenant” word has a religious suggestion.
In both cases, the young boy and Goodman Brown there is a pursuit motivated by religion or held back by religion. How religion affects their lives in different ways. Both characters go through change but how and the harshness of the change differs. The young child in “Araby” discovers what life is like outside the church. Brown’s perception has been transformed for his entire life. If Goodman brown’s curiosity had not taken him into the dark woods to meet with the devil. If the young boy did not go the Bazaar, he would not have had a growing experience.