We will write a custom Essay on Nathaniel Hawthorne and Flannery O’Connor’s Works Comparison specifically for you
301 certified writers online
Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne and A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor are two stories that can be considered from the point of nature and space. In both narratives, place plays a critical role in the self-discovery of the main characters. If in Young Goodman Brown, Goodman leaves his wife and goes to the forest, thus coming to evil and depravity, then Bailey and his family also turn off their track and meet iniquity in A Good Man is Hard to Find.
O’Connor tells about the family traveling from Georgia to Florida, and Hawthorne focuses on the couple from Salem Village, Massachusetts. The fact that the authors note actual places shows that they want to emphasize the reality and possibility of their stories. The place is one of the most powerful tools for creating an imaginary world of the stories, the essential components of which are space and time. Nature is the original form of existence of the material world. Everything created by man is only a small part of the primordial world. At this point, human nature becomes another important point in the analysis of the mentioned narratives.
Reviewing the given stories, one may note that human nature plays a significant role in the described events. For example, if Bailey had not listened to grandmother, and the latter had not insisted on visiting the Old South, the outcome may have been different. Similar to the above assumptions, in case Brown had not let his intentions go out yet resisted the call of the sin forest, he would not have lost his faith in his Faith. The very name of the hero’s wife makes one think in such a manner, causing a paradox. Therefore, it is possible to suggest that these stories focus on sin and depravity as human nature. It was only three months after Goodman’s marriage with Faith when he began to doubt his wife and attempted to convict her of treason by visiting the forest. Similarly, Bailey‘s family and especially grandmother were well aware of the brutal Misfit who was hiding in the mentioned area. Despite initially dangerous and provoking obstacles, they contributed to the occurrence of the lamentable outcomes.
Considering the stories from a different angle, it is possible to mention the role of the forest that represents evil and, perhaps, the devil. For example, Hawthorne states that “the whole forest was peopled with frightful sounds; the creaking of trees, the howling of wild beasts, and the yell of Indians” (James et al. 225). Accordingly, O’Connor describes the woods where criminals murdered almost the whole family as follows: “the children’s mother had begun to make heaving noises as if she couldn’t get her breath” (James et al. 241). Thus, in both stories, the forest acts as the place of evil.
To sum it up, the subject along with the audience of the given stories are similar, namely, human relationships in terms of a specific place and human nature as well as adults mired in sins, respectively. As for the purpose, it seems that in his story Young Goodman Brown, Hawthorne attempts to reveal sinful human nature and present it to the public to critique it. Writing A Good Man is Hard to Find story, O’Connor elaborates on the idea of human nature and shows the way out from this internal conflict. It seems that the word pray repeatedly pronounced by grandmother symbolizes grace, repentance, and forgiveness that can lead to one’s salvation.
James, Missy, et al. Reading Literature and Writing Argument. 6th ed., Pearson, 2016.