Although the reader knows the younger man is referring to his wife, the name of the lady also serves to warn the reader that a pure faith such as Goodman Brown possessed prior to entering the wood would have been better off had he simply trusted to its council and remained home for the night. Through the journey, Young Goodman Brown’s eyes are opened to the idea that the people he has considered so good in his lifetime are as full of the sin and corruption that his religion professes exists in all men at the time of their birth. Confronted with his wife at the initiation ceremony, Goodman Brown finally understands the teaching of the Puritans that no man may ever escape the evil to which they’re born, regardless of their intentions or daily activities. From this experience, Goodman Brown loses his faith in a good and forgiving God, dying a bitter and suspicious man after having lived a bitter and suspicious life.In “The Tell-Tale Heart,” the narrator is seen to be driven mad by his fixation on two recurring symbols within the story – the beating heart and the ‘evil eye’ which is either a glass eye or an eye covered with the milky white film of cataracts. Having set things up in terms of the two symbols conflicting against one another, the narrator of the tale continues to insist that he is not insane, eventually convincing the reader this is not the case. It is seen almost at once that the incongruity of the ‘evil eye’ housed within a person that had been loved drives this caregiver to extreme distraction, pushing his/her mental state over into a madness that sought escape in whatever form it could devise. Although the rationality of the actions taken are illustrated as a means of proving the absence of madness, “If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body” (159), the macabre details delivered completely without emotion and with a simple step-by-step precision tend to hint otherwise, “The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence. First of all I dismembered the corpse. I cut off the head and the arms and the legs” (159). This casual approach to murder and the horrid butchering that occurred afterward is further accented by the narrator’s audacity of placing his own chair directly over the spot where the body was hidden as
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. (Date of publication). “The Young Goodman Brown.” Name of Anthology. Name of Editor (Ed.). Place of publication: Name of Publisher, Date of anthology publication.
Poe, Edgar Allan. “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Black Cat” and “Ligeia.” Great Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe. New York: Aerie Books, (2003).
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