The sad reality of life is that very few people fight oppression. Most talk about independence, but eventually most settle into a life that not even knowing someone else is in charge. In the Pit and the Pendulum, the narrator is ruled by his torturers and in Young Goodman Brown, the narrator is ruled by the Devil. Even though the narrator from the former story was ruled by his torturers, he maintained a more optimistic outlook on his challenges than Brown, who let the Devil take control and lost all hope in the world, proving that optimism is truly the key to success.
Young Goodman Brown was a man who was naïve to the world around him. Ever since he was a child, he had always practiced a very Godly life. Not only does he believe that everyone around him follows the same path, but he also believes that it is the only path. This naivety and innocence was taken from him by the Devil, who opened his eyes to the world of evil around him. After the pagan ceremony, which Brown attends, the Devil even states “Now are ye undeceived! Evil is the nature of mankind” (Hawthorne 9). By saying this, Hawthorne is trying to say that it is better to know the whole truth than to live a lie. By not knowing the truth about evil existing in Salem village, Brown has essentially been living a life that is not complete or accurate. This perfect and fair world that was found in the Bible is not the real world that surrounds him. When his innocence is stolen from him so abruptly, he begins to lose both his faith and stability in the world.
The Devil stealing Goodman Brown’s innocence eventually leads him to a life of despair. All throughout his life, Brown had let the Church dictate his life, and when he finds that it is all a ruse, the foundation that his...
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...id off. By having a secular knowledge of the real world, the narrator was able to keep up the strength to keep fighting, something that Brown could not do since he had never been exposed to such challenges before.
The narrators in both stories were faced with copious challenges. But antithetically, the narrators both meet these challenges in completely different ways. While Brown confronted his challenges with despair and pessimism, the narrator from the Pit and the Pendulum faced his trials with optimism and bravery, which in the end gave him hope. From this one can say that an optimistic outlook and the will to fight are necessities in the great battle of life.
Hawthrone, Nathaniel. "Young Goodman Brown." (by NathanielHawthorne, 1835). N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2014.
Poe, Edgar A. "The Pit and the Pendulum." Poestories. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Feb. 2014.